May was Mental Health Awareness Month when we spotlight mental health and wellness issues and celebrate recovery from mental illness. Mental health and well-being are an essential part of our lives and the lives of those we love and care for; they are necessary for a person’s overall health.

At an ATAP All-to-All meeting held on May 24, 2023, Berkeley Lab postdoctoral research scholar Christian Messe delivered a presentation on some of the challenges of mental health in the workplace and strategies for promoting and practicing good mental health.

Mental Health, explained Messe, is an “individual’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being, which affects their ability to cope with stress, engage in productive work, and maintain positive relationships.”

Mental health challenges can include:

  • Stress and burnout in the lab setting
    • Workload, time management, conflict, and communication …
  • Work-life balance issues
    • Family responsibilities, cultural adaptation, …
  • Early career building
    • Imposter syndrome, navigating career development, job security, visa, …
  • Mental conditions
    • ADHD, OCD, PTSD, …

Strategies to promote and practice good mental include:

As a supervisor:

  • Recognize achievements and contributions
  • Be a role model
  • Encourage open communication and peer support
  • Offer regular check-ins
  • Promote work-life balance
  • Encourage inclusivity and diversity (also Neurodiversity!)


  • Practice self-care
  • Set boundaries
  • Encourage an open dialogue
  • Be an ally
  • Seek help when necessary!

The Lab’s All Access Employee Resource Group’s Mental Health Initiative provides resources for employees struggling with mental health issues and can be found by clicking here. The Lab has also gathered a list of additional resources at

Learn More

Employee Assistance Program

Integrated Disability Absence Management Services