May is a much anticipated and welcomed month for New Englanders. At last, the discolored piles of snow have melted, and shovels and winter jackets are retired. April’s rain has given way to a colorful blooming ecosystem. Some people anticipate the end of homework battles, time spent outdoors socializing (while physically distanced), and warm weather activities they treasure. May, however, is not experienced in these ways by everyone. In fact, for many it can feel gloomy like an endless rainy January afternoon, or full of panic as when a tornado strikes. Perhaps you know one or two people who are experiencing life in these ways.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and an opportunity to raise consciousness and advance the dialogue around mental health impacts, what to say to someone who is struggling, and how to promote help-seeking behavior. Let us consider how employers can support employees in distress by being observant, connecting with empathy, and guiding them to professional support and resources.