How to Ask Prospective Employers About Mental Health Benefits

Mitchell_ask about mental health August 29, 2022 By: Barbara Mitchell

Mental health is top of mind for everyone. That’s why you shouldn’t shy away from asking potential employers what mental health benefits they have in place for staff.

Q: When I am interviewing for a new position, is it a good idea to ask about what mental health support they offer employees? I don’t want to alarm a prospective employer, but it is an important factor in my decision process. How can I best ask for this information?

A: You are so right to bring up the issue of mental health benefits and support—and the best place to get it is during the interview process.

It is perfectly all right to ask a direct question such as, “With what we experienced during COVID, there has been a renewed emphasis on mental health. I’d be interested in what mental health benefits and support your organization provides?” 

If one of your interviews is with HR, it probably makes sense to ask them this question rather than the hiring manager who may not know the details of their benefits plans. However, if you do not have an interview with HR, ask your question anyway and hopefully the hiring manager will help get the answers you need.

What you want to hear is that the organization has a proactive, empathetic approach to mental health issues. You want to find out that they have comprehensive mental health plans, which includes coverage for inpatient and outpatient therapy as well as for telemedicine and virtual therapy programs.

What you want to hear is that the organization has a proactive, empathetic approach to mental health issues.

You also want to make sure they have an employee assistance program that employees and their families can access for counseling on a variety of subjects, including mental health and personal finances. An EAP is one of the most valuable, complimentary resources an organization can provide.

In addition, you could ask if they offer training programs for their managers and staff on how to spot the signs that someone might be struggling. Other mental-health-related benefits to look out for are flexible schedules and affinity groups so staff can talk and share with colleagues from similar backgrounds.

This issue is important to you as an applicant and should be part of how you determine whether to join an organization. Don’t hesitate to make this part of your interview strategy.

Barbara Mitchell

Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR, The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook, The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book, and her latest The Decisive Manager. Do you have a question you'd like her to answer? Send it to