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OSHA News Brief

May 5, 2023


US Department of Labor partners with Georgia agencies, employers to promote safety stand-downs to address workplace mental health awareness

Participants:  U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration
                        Georgia Department of Public Health
                        Mental Health America of Georgia

What:  Mental Health Safety Stand-Down

Background:  OSHA is collaborating with the Georgia Department of Public Health and Mental Health America of Georgia – referred to as the Georgia Mental Health Alliance – to protect workers and encourage employers to hold safety stand-downs during National Mental Health Awareness Month in May.

The initiative calls on companies to use the benefits a stand-down offers and to stop all work for a safety meeting focused on the importance of workers caring for their mental health and supporting their co-workers' well-being. The three-pillar objective provides information, resources and empowerment to help employers reduce exposure to mental health stressors and prevent work-related suicide. Numerous resources are available for employers to support this initiative, including guides from OSHA's workplace stress page.

Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month is observed in the U.S. in May to help raise national awareness in support of the nearly one in five U.S. adults who lives with a mental illness. Workplace stress ranks high among stressors, causing about 120,000 deaths each year. In one survey, about 65 percent of U.S. workers said work was a very significant or somewhat significant source of stress in each year from 2019-2021.

For more information, contact OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office at 678-903-7301. Learn more about OSHA.

Quote: "Nearly everyone faces workplace stress. Left unchecked, the strain may lead to serious mental illness. Employers must recognize these mental health challenges can have a direct impact on workers' and co-workers' safety and health. Guiding employees toward resources to protect and improve workers' mental health makes good business sense," said OSHA Area Director Jeffery Stawowy in Atlanta-West. "OSHA offers many resources and materials for employers to develop workplace programs to support mental health and help employees seek assistance."

Learn more about OSHA's workplace stress reduction efforts.

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Media Contacts:

Eric R. Lucero, 678-237-0630,
Erika B. Ruthman, 678-237-0630,

Release Number:  23-846-ATL (164)