We present an integrated reliability test methodology for electrostatic discharge (ESD) testing of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). It is shown that conventional ESD test methods for failure detection, like current and voltage waveforms during ESD stress and direct current leakage are insufficient for MEMS. A functionality-based approach using the mechanical response of the MEMS during ESD is needed to accurately and conclusively detect ESD failure in MEMS. A novel test setup with a probe-mountable human body model (HBM) tester is presented for this purpose. This setup can perform simultaneous measurements of MEMS out-of-plane displacement, HBM current and HBM voltage in the MEMS in situ during ESD stress. Using this setup, a few examples are demonstrated that show that traditional electrical characterization is overestimating the ESD robustness of MEMS devices. ESD testing of MEMS is performed at different pressures on RF MEMS actuators and show that more than one type of failure mechanism can occur due to ESD stress. ESD-induced charging and functionality degradation in RF MEMS actuators are also briefly discussed.