The Intersection of Corporate Responsibility and Mental Health: A Call for Action

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Dec 18, 2023

3 min read


The Intersection of Corporate Responsibility and Mental Health: A Call for Action


In today's society, we are witnessing the convergence of two pressing issues: the need for corporate responsibility and the mental health crisis plaguing our justice system. These seemingly disparate topics are intertwined in ways that demand our attention. This article explores the launch of a nonprofit dedicated to employee ownership programs and the overwhelming number of mentally ill inmates languishing in jails. By examining these issues together, we can uncover the common threads and potential solutions that lie within.

Ownership Works: Creating Wealth for Working Families:

Ownership Works, a newly launched nonprofit, aims to implement broad-based employee ownership programs across corporations to benefit working families. With McKinsey as a founding partner, this initiative has garnered support from over 60 organizations across various sectors. By advocating for employee ownership, this nonprofit seeks to create $20 billion of wealth for working families. This noble endeavor not only addresses income inequality but also promotes a sense of ownership and well-being among employees.

The Mental Health Crisis in Our Justice System:

A Wall Street Journal analysis reveals a troubling trend: an increasing number of mentally ill inmates overwhelming psychiatric hospitals across the United States. This mounting crisis leaves many inmates languishing in jail without court-ordered treatment, unable to stand trial. The question arises: who is responsible for rectifying the supply and demand imbalance for psychiatric facilities? Are incentives aligned to allow the private market to work? These issues highlight the ineptitude of the system we are operating in, calling for urgent action.

The Complexities of Treating Mentally Ill Inmates:

Unlike psychiatric hospitals, jails lack the authority and resources to force inmates to take medication. Furthermore, the availability and adjustment of prescriptions in jails are often limited, with a shortage of healthcare practitioners to monitor patients. Confinement and the presence of law enforcement can exacerbate psychotic delusions, further deteriorating the mental health of inmates. Moreover, the scarcity of behavioral health services and workers compounds the problem, leaving state leaders and mental health advocates deeply concerned.

Finding Common Ground and Solutions:

Although ownership programs and mental health in the justice system may seem unrelated, they share commonalities that can guide us towards solutions. Both issues stem from systemic failures and demand a collaborative effort from diverse stakeholders. By addressing income inequality through employee ownership, corporations can contribute to a more equitable society, reducing the strain on the justice system. Simultaneously, investing in mental health infrastructure, expanding psychiatric hospitals, and improving access to care can alleviate the burden on jails.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Encourage Corporate Responsibility: Companies should consider implementing employee ownership programs as a means to address income inequality and promote a sense of ownership among their workforce. By fostering a culture of shared prosperity, corporations can contribute to the well-being of working families.
  • 2. Advocate for Mental Health Reform: It is crucial to advocate for increased investment in mental health infrastructure and resources. Governments should prioritize the expansion of psychiatric hospitals and the recruitment of mental health professionals to ensure timely and appropriate treatment for mentally ill individuals in the justice system.
  • 3. Foster Collaboration: To effectively tackle these complex issues, collaboration between government agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and mental health advocates is essential. By working together, we can leverage resources and expertise to create sustainable solutions that benefit both working families and mentally ill individuals.


The launch of Ownership Works and the plight of mentally ill inmates in our justice system are interconnected issues that require urgent attention. By recognizing the commonalities and finding shared solutions, we can make significant progress in addressing income inequality and improving mental health outcomes. It is time for corporations to embrace their responsibility towards working families, and for society to prioritize the well-being of vulnerable individuals. Through collective action and collaboration, we can create a more equitable and compassionate society for all.

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