mental health at work

11 Employee Benefits That Support Mental Health at Work

October 10, is World Mental Health Day. As we learn more and more about mental health, it has become more evident just how big of an impact it can have on your employees’ performance. Mental health is just as important of a factor on productivity as physical health.

And, like physical health, it’s beneficial for your company to track and promote your employees’ mental wellbeing. For example, depression alone costs U.S. businesses over $44 billion annually in lost productivity.

Similarly, in 2015 alone, major depressive disorder had an estimated economic impact of $210 billion. So, if mental health is having such an effect on business, how do you help employees struggling with mental health issues?

Unfortunately, there is no, one, right answer. There are; however, a plethora of moves any organization can make to support its employees. One of the best opportunities for a company to promote positive mental health is through your employee benefits policy.

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Employee benefits can have a significant impact on your staff’s mental wellbeing. These 11 benefits will support your staff’s mental health at work.

 

The Top Eleven

There’s a plethora of employee benefits and perks that an organization can offer its employees. Still, many of these benefits range from unrelated, to ineffective, in regards to combating negative mental health issues.

With that being said, there are multiple benefits and perks that aid individuals who are dealing with mental health issues. These ten benefits can improve employees’ mental health at work.

 

1. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Employee Assistance Programs are work-based intervention programs designed to identify and assist employees in resolving issues. These issues can range from marital, to financial, to substance abuse and mental health concerns.

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Companies usually offer EAPs at no cost to team members. Most employers operate their EAP through a third-party administrator. Using a third-party administrator is crucial to the success of your EAP.

Employees have to feel comfortable discussing professional and personal problems with the EAP administrator. Your staff needs to be able to talk about issues such as mental health, with confidence. They cannot fear they are putting their jobs or social lives in jeopardy.

If your business administers your EAP, it could prevent employees from coming forward and asking for the help they require. Still, EAPs are a terrific way to point employees struggling with mental illness, in the right direction, so they can receive the treatment they need.

 

2. Health Insurance

Health insurance is a critical tool for helping staff members who have a mental illness. As an employer, it is essential to select a health plan that includes mental health coverage.

medical records

There is an extensive list of mental health services your health plan should provide your staff. These services include outpatient and inpatient treatment, telemedicine, medication, and counseling. Each of these attributes can be vital for treating mental illnesses.

The improvements and prevalence of telemedicine are especially promising for addressing some of the challenges surrounding mental health.

According to BenefitsPro, telemedicine can make getting care anonymous and convenient, so patients can receive care where they’re most comfortable. These attributes are especially valuable when dealing with a subject as sensitive as mental health.

 

Learn the ins and outs of health insurance.

 

3. Leadership Training

One of the most significant problems regarding mental health at work is the stigma. There continues to be a stigma surrounding the discussion of mental health, which only serves to exacerbate the problems that mental health issues can create.

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Because of this stigma, an important benefit to offer your staff is employee training. Train your managers, and leadership that mental illness is not a bad topic and one to avoid. Instead, teach them how to recognize employees with potential mental health issues.

Not only do your managers have to know how to spot mental illness, but they also need to be able to have intelligent and empathetic conversations with other employees. Your managers have to know the importance of speaking openly about mental illness rather than avoiding the topic.

 

4. Technology

Mobile technology has affected almost every aspect of modern life. Mental health is no exception. As previously stated, telemedicine is a tremendous tool for treating mental illness.

New applications, such as MoodKit and Happify, are specifically geared towards recognizing and improving mental health issues. MoodKit, for example, uses principles and techniques of cognitive behavior therapy to treat mental health issues.

social media in the workplace

These tools can be invaluable to your team members. New technology allows your employees to improve their mental health, on their own time, and where they feel the most comfortable.

Additionally, these applications focus on preventative care, which can be highly valuable for mental health. Because mental health carries a stigma, it has traditionally been an area of health that goes neglected or is only addressed until it reaches a crisis. Preventative care can reduce health care costs for both employer and employee.

 

5. Resiliency Training and Stress Management

Resiliency training and stress management, like the applications discussed above, focus on preventative care. According to Workforce, resiliency training aims to give workers the skills necessary to handle change and crises, positively and efficiently.

Both resiliency training and stress management work to lessen the impact of stress, and hopefully other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. These courses are becoming more popular too. According to a 2015 Mercer survey, 42 percent of large employers offer resiliency or stress management programs.

 

6. Parental Leave

Another benefit that can aid workers’ mental health is parental leave. It’s important to note that parental leave is much preferable to just maternal leave. Although, maternal leave is a terrific place to start.

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Paternal leave is paid time off for new parents, mom or dad, after the birth or adoption of a child. This leave provides parents with an opportunity to take care of their child without the stress of work getting in the way.

Becoming a new parent is an enormously stressful life event. If you don’t offer parental leave, and force parents to take unpaid time off, such as FMLA, this stress is compounded.

A Harris Poll conducted for Purchasing Power found that 80 percent of employees are under financial stress. This stress can have a significant adverse impact on business. Stress costs employers an average of $300 billion a year in stress-related health care and missed work.

Paid leave for new parents helps alleviate the financial portion of their situation, at least. Parents who are less stressed are also positive for your business because they can return, and be more productive, sooner.

Additionally, offering parental leave is vital to lessening gender discrimination in the workplace. When fathers (in addition to mothers) are taking leave for new children, it normalizes the act across genders. This normalization helps to reduce the likelihood of gender discrimination in hiring and promotion decisions.

 

Read more about parental and paid leave.

 

7. Financial Literacy Education

Like parental leave, financial literacy education is focused on improving your staffs’ financial stress. Financial literacy, as defined by the President’s Advisory Council, is “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being.”

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Financial literacy helps employees by giving them the knowledge and ability to reach self-sufficiency in their daily financial lives. Without this education, according to Investopedia, your staff may fall victim to predatory lending, subprime mortgages, fraud, and high-interest rates.

 

8. PTO

Paid time off, or PTO, is a paid leave plan that combines sick leave and vacation time. PTO gives employees a set bank of time off at the beginning of each year. Employees can then choose whenever and however they want to use this time off.

PTO gives your employees a more considerable amount of flexibility in how they take their paid leave. Your staff now gets their entire bank of time off to use for sickness, vacation, running errands, or appointments. They no longer have to be one, or the other.

 

9. Flexible Work

Flexible work options include flexible location, flexible schedule, and flexible time. Each of these options presents unique benefits that can work to aid those dealing with mental health issues.

Flexible location gives your employees the ability to choose where they work. A flexible schedule allows your staff the ability to decide when they work. Flexible hours give your employees the power to select the number of hours they work during the week.

flexible work

Flexible work is a terrific benefit for those with mental health issues. This benefit allows these employees to work around periods of time during which they are dealing with their mental health. Team members can also work around treatment they receive such as counseling or doctor’s appointments.

 

Find out more about flexible work

 

10. Childcare

This benefit, like parental leave, is critical for your employees with children. Every parent knows that kids, like consuming too many adult beverages, can oscillate between joyful and awful in minutes.

Looking after a small person’s life is a huge responsibility. This responsibility carries a level of stress that is oppositely proportional to the size of these tiny people. So, as an employer, it can be beneficial to both your staff and you to provide childcare benefits.

For example, dependent care assistance programs, child care subsidies, flexible spending accounts, and onsite daycare are all employee benefits that can improve the mental health of your employees with children.

Dependent care assistance programs, child care subsidies, flexible spending accounts, and onsite daycare are all examples of child care employee benefits.

 

11. Social Stuff

One of the signs of depression and anxiety can be isolation. It becomes a vicious cycle as those depressed isolate themselves, only to find themselves missing the interaction and becoming further depressed.

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Still, there are many ways your company can help employees break this negative cycle. Company luncheons, team building activities, or even going out for happy hour are all examples of events your business can use to get your employees out and socializing with their colleagues.

These activities can positively impact your organization in multiple ways too. Obviously helping depressed employees break out of a rut is a positive impact. But they these events also help your team become closer and, hopefully, work more effectively.

 

The Wrap

The more we learn about mental health, the more we are finding out how much it impacts an individual’s total health and their workplace effectiveness. Your employee benefits can be the difference between an employee being lost in the shadows, or breaking through and finding success.

So, make a mental note, and use these 11 benefits to support your staff’s mental health at work.

depression at work

How You Can Support Employees With Depression at Work

Depression is like an Instagram filter. Your reality looks the same, but it’s different. This difference can not only negatively affect an individual, but can also negatively impact your business.

Now, depression may seem like an insignificant factor for your company’s success. But, depression can have a huge influence on your success.

Depression (and mental illness as a whole) can cause stress, mental distractions, and ruin employee engagement.

One in twenty workers is experiencing depression at any given time. Depression alone costs employers up to $44 billion annually, and an estimated 200 million lost work days each year.

Additionally, The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression alone will cause more days of work loss and impairment than any other illness.

depression

When you expand depression into all mental illness, this impact becomes greater. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported this information.

According to the CDC, the annual direct and indirect costs of treating mental health issues is $317.5 billion. Depression and mental illness can cost your firm copious amounts of money.

So how do you help those employees who deal with these illnesses every day? How do you support employees with depression at work? Let’s find out.

 

Educate Yourself and Your Team

Education is the key. One of the most difficult attributes of mental illness is that it can be next to impossible for other people to see the symptoms.

Unlike a physical malady, such as a cold or broken bone, the symptoms of mental illness aren’t as familiar to most people. Similarly, because mental illness is occurring mostly in your brain, there aren’t as clear-cut signals that are easy to pick up on.

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Train your staff to recognize the many potential manifestations of the symptoms of mental illness. Make sure your employees know how to seek help for both themselves and their coworkers.

One of the biggest problems regarding mental illness is that many of those people who are suffering never seek the treatment they need. Depression is especially undertreated.

According to BenefitsPro, only a little more than half (57 percent) of employees with major depression receive professional help. Education is the first step towards affected individuals getting the help they need.

 

Have Open Communication

Another key to treating depression at work is the same as a relationship; communication. Not only does your communication have to be informative, but it also has to be empathetic towards a sensitive subject.

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Your communications have to be carefully worded to avoid offense, or further increase the stigma surrounding mental illness. Mental health is an emotional issue for many people and should be broached in a sensitive manner.

Also, your company should ensure that there is always a way for employees to communicate any struggles they may be having, safely and confidentially.

 

Remove the Stigma

In the United States there continues to be a stigma surrounding mental health issues. This stigma contributes to the overall struggle of recognizing, diagnosing, and treating mental health.

Education and open communication will both help to break this stigma down. Still, removing the stigma surrounding mental illness will ultimately come down to your company’s leadership.

Not only do your business leaders have to be able to engage in discussions about mental illness with their coworkers. But, they have to actively encourage and support these types of talks.

 

Provide Employee Benefits       

One of the best tools your company can use to combat depression in the workplace is your employee benefits package. Employee benefits can provide your staff with the resources necessary to seek treatment.

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There are four main employee benefits that can aid workers struggling with depression or mental illness. They are PTO, flexibility, employee assistance programs (EAP), and health insurance.

 

PTO

Paid time off, or PTO, is a paid leave plan that combines sick leave and vacation time. So, PTO gives employees a set bank of time off at the beginning of each year.

The difference between PTO and standard, separated, leave is that employees have a greater ability to choose when and why they are going to take their time off. This increased flexibility can aid those who have a mental illness.

If an employee knows that they are more vulnerable or emotional during a particular time, they can take time off without having to give advanced notice to their employer, as they would with vacation time.

With PTO, your employees can take this leave, and not have to worry about the stress of using unpaid leave.

 

Flexible Work Options

There are three main flexible work options: flexible location, schedule, and hours. These options allow your employees to choose when, where, or the number of hours they work.

flexible work

Like PTO, flexible work options let your team members work around any needs they may have, regarding their depression or mental illness.

Similarly, these benefits can help your employees reduce the overall amount of work-related stress, which negatively impacts mental health. Flexible work options allow your staff to work around their mental illness.

Note: There is another option to increase employee-flexibility that isn’t technically a flexible work option. That option is to alter an employee’s role as necessary.

Collaborate with your staff to adjust an employee’s position, when necessary. If a team member feels their work is affecting their battle with depression, a change in the role may similarly reduce an employee’s work-related stress, similar to using flexible work.

 

Employee Assistance Programs

Employee Assistance Programs, or EAPs, are work-based intervention programs designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal issues. These issues can range from marital, to financial, to substance abuse and mental health concerns.

counseling

Organizations usually offer EAPs at no cost to team members. Most employers operate their EAP through a third-party administrator.

Using a third-party administrator is crucial to the success of your EAP because employees have to feel comfortable discussing professional and personal problems.

Your staff needs to be able to talk about these issues, such as depression and mental illness, with confidence. They cannot fear they are putting their jobs or lives in jeopardy.

If you administer your EAP, it could prevent employees from coming forward and asking for the help they require. Still, EAPs are a terrific way to point employees struggling with mental illness, in the right direction, so they can receive the treatment they need.

 

Health Insurance

Health insurance is critical for helping staff members who have any mental illness. As an employer, it is essential to select a health plan that includes mental health coverage.

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There is an extensive list of mental health services your health plan should provide your staff. These services include outpatient and inpatient treatment, medication, and counseling. Each of these is essential for dealing with mental illness.

 

The Wrap

A 2017 survey showed that 88 percent of U.S. employers want to make behavioral health a top priority. This emphasis has to continue.

Depression at work is a serious issue that necessitates a dedication of time and resources. Take these steps to aid your employees in their secession from depression.

how to deal with stress at work

Chill Out…10 Tips on How to Deal With Stress at Work

STRESS. The six letter villain that lurks around nearly every corner, if you let it. When left unchecked stress can wreak havoc on your work and personal life.

Stress costs employers an average of $300 billion a year in stress-related health care and missed work. These are direct costs of stress. The indirect costs of stress can be just as damaging to business.

According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 87 percent of workers worldwide are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces (a byproduct of stress) and less likely to be productive.

Workplace stress can cause a disconnect between an employee, and their job and employer. This emotional disconnect can lead to a decrease in engagement, satisfaction, and, ultimately, productivity.

work stress

Many people understand that stress is bad for business. Still, work-related stress is so prominent that 55 percent of workers consider their jobs more stressful than financial and relationship problems.

This statistic is (should be!) unacceptable. Teaching your employees to deal with stress at work is easy, inexpensive, and helps both parties. There is no excuse for letting your staff suffer from the effects of stress.

Here are 10 tips on how to deal with stress at work.

 

1. Identify Triggers

Help your staff identify their personal stress triggers. Every individual’s different personality, experiences, and other characteristics influence the way they respond to and cope with stress.

What is distressing to one team member, may be a nonfactor to another. Have employees record situations, events, and people who cause negative responses. Record these reactions for at least one to two weeks.

workplace stress

Evaluate each of these situations and their relation to that individual’s stress inventory. This evaluation will help your employees to discover what causes them the most amount of stress, which will aid them in combating stress in the future.

 

2. Identify Self-imposed Stress

It is a lot easier for people to recognize stress caused by outside influences, than the stress that results from within. Train your workers to stop self-imposing stress by building their self-confidence rather than seeking other’s approval.

Becoming preoccupied with what others think of you, which you can’t control, can significantly increase the amount of stress you feel at work.

 

3. Improve Time Management

There are several steps you can take to improve your time management skills and conversely reduce your workplace stress. Get employees to plan, prioritize, and act (rather than react).

A common cause of stress is feeling that what is going on around you is out of your control. Advise employees to recognize what aspects of a situation they can control, and what they can’t.

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Get your staff to focus on making the percent they can control, the best it can possibly be. Then, teach them to let go of the rest. If it is beyond your control, then worrying about it can have nothing but negative consequences.

Teach employees to:

— Create to-do lists

— Schedule meetings

— Break projects into small steps

— Delegate responsibilities

— Take small breaks

— Prioritize work

Employees should be planning ahead to prioritize what they need to get done first, and what can wait. Their to-do lists should focus on projects that will have the most impact for the company, and align best with their personal goals and strengths.

Train employees to build periodic gaps in their schedule to rest and reflect upon themselves and their day. A gap in the torrent of information that flows through your head while at work, allows you to interrupt stress reactions that may be building up. A break allows you to collect your thoughts and make adjustments.

 

4. Use Time Off

Encourage your employees to utilize ALL of the paid time off they are given. Your company should foster a culture that actively promotes the use of employees’ paid time off. These vacation or personal days lead to:

— Improved productivity

— Increased engagement

— Better recruitment

— Boosted creativity

— Growth in retention

Taking time to recharge helps to avoid burnout and lets employees restore and replenish themselves from all the accumulated workplace stress.

Learn more about the positive effects time off has for your employees and business.

 

5. Gain/Change Perspective

Your perspective of stressful office events is just that; your’s. Every individual interprets a set of facts differently, which results in different perspectives. What was agonizing to you, was uneventful to another.

If possible, show workers how they can step back, and view events through a more objective lens. Employees should be thinking about issues from all angles, not just their own. When necessary, have employees talk to someone who is close to them.

perspective

Chatting with a friend, family member, or even trained professional gives that employee exposure to another viewpoint, which can help change their perspective. Talking to someone close to you also allows individuals to vent and relieve pent-up stress.

Encourage employees to change perspectives through actions that get them out of their regular routine. Have them go for a walk, take a hike with a friend, write a book, etc. Push your staff to do something new that takes them out of their stressed-out frame of mind.

 

6. Personalize Workspaces

Your workspace is a reflection of your mood and condition. Make sure employees do everything to make their workplace as comfortable and familiar as it can be. Your space should be a comfortable place where you feel well, and less stressed.

Some things you can do to enhance your workspace include:

— Get rid of clutter

— Improve lighting

— Add motivational quotes/posters

— Have pictures of friends/family

— Bring personal items like your favorite cup, a plant, etc.

 

7. Reduce Interruptions

Train employees to avoid and, if possible, eliminate interruptions. Workers can do well to avoid interruptions by blocking out calendar dates, closing their door when they need focus, and only answering emails during certain times.

These practices train both yourself and those around you not to interrupt. While it is impossible to control all interruptions completely, it is possible to control how you react to interruptions when they inevitably occur.

stress management

Something all employees need to understand, in order to control their reactions to interruptions, is how and when to say “No.” Staff members need to know how to say “No” to their colleagues and even their supervisors.

Don’t let employees put extra pressure and stress on themselves by not wanting to offend their coworkers and say “No.” Constantly saying yes can add to your workload, or force you to miss deadlines and other negative consequences. All of these consequences result in an increased amount of stress.

 

8. Learn Calming Techniques

Teach employees different calming techniques that they can use when feeling stressed at the office. Here are several calming techniques that can be implemented easily and quickly by an individual:

— Listening to calming music

— Deep breathing exercises

— Stretching or Yoga

— Meditating

 

9. Physical Health

Most of the previous techniques focus on emotional or mental health. Both of these are vital to stress management; however, it is just as important that you take care of your physical health. Eating right, sleeping well, and exercising are all critical to stress management.

When you eat poorly, you stress your body out. What you eat can have an impact on your condition and mood. Try eating frequent, healthy meals. These will keep you energized and focused throughout the day, and help you to avoid mood swings.
stress

Make sure you are getting the proper amount of sleep each night. According to the CDC, over 60 million Americans do not get enough sleep, which your body needs for recovery. A lack of sleep causes you to become even more stressed. Some tips to improve sleep are:

— Avoid stressful situations and stimulating activity before bedtime

— Stay no less than eight hours in bed

— Turn off all screens

— Read before getting into bed

— Do deep breathing exercises

Also, be sure that you are getting the proper amount of exercise. Everyone should aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.

Exercise stimulates endorphin secretion, which helps to fight off the negative effects of stress. If you are feeling stressed or want to avoid being stressed, make sure you exercise regularly. If you have a favorite activity, whether it is basketball, tennis, jogging, swimming, do it either before or after work.

 

10. Get Support

Out of those who feel stressed or depressed because of work, only 5 percent admit their struggles. It is crucial to accept how you feel and tell someone that you suffer from work-related stress.

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Employees should feel comfortable and safe talking to a colleague, their supervisor, or the HR leader to get assistance with their struggle. Make sure that your staff is aware of the resources available through the company such as:

— Employee assistance program (EAP)

— Online information

— Counseling

— Referrals to mental health professionals

Stress is not an issue that should be ignored. It will not go away if you focus on your work and try to disregard what is affecting you. Employees need to know how to deal with stress at work, and how to get help when they need it.

 

The Wrap

Workplace stress is an issue that needs to be addressed by both employer and employee. Both parties need to feel safe to engage in open discussions about the topic, to resolve any problems that may be occurring.

Work-related stress can cost an employer, thousands to millions of dollars every year. Lessen the negative impact of stress by teaching your staff these 10 tips on how to deal with stress at work.

The positive effects of improved stress management cannot be stressed enough.

mental health in the workplace

How to Manage Mental Health in the Workplace and Why It’s Important

“Well, at least you have your health.” We’ve all heard it before. The one silver lining, when the rest your life crumbles into infinitesimal specks of nothingness around you.

Your health is important. So important it’s a pretty unanimous opinion that looking after employees’ health makes a business more successful. Most organizations offer health insurance and wellness programs to ensure they are protecting their staffs’ physical health.

So many companies understand the importance of their employees’ physical well-being but don’t get why mental health in the workplace is just as important.

mental health

Almost ¼ of Americans suffer from a mental illness every year. This total adds up to over $105 billion a year in lost productivity (in the U.S. alone),  according to the National Council of Behavioral Health.

If your company does not address mental health, your bottom-line will be affected.

 

Strategies for Managing Mental Health in the Workplace 

Here are seven steps your business can do to support better mental health in the workplace.

 

1. Look at the Issue

The first step to promoting better mental health in the workplace is looking at the issues. Your company needs to acknowledge the problem, and then thoroughly examine it.

Determine what your firm’s legal requirements are, and what you believe it’s moral obligations should be. Assess how these issues can affect your employees and their performance. Your company needs to learn about the subject before it can teach employees about it.

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2. Examine Your Culture

You need to understand your organization’s culture before implementing your process to manage mental health. Recognize what employees typically respond to, and how to best reach them.

Use your understanding of your company’s culture to shape your mental health program. This knowledge will give the program a greater chance of success.

 

3. Educate Employees

Educate employees on the ins and outs of mental health. Create an awareness program, host a speaker, and organize meetings. Many people, even those suffering from one, don’t quite understand what a mental illness is, and how it can affect them on the job.

Employee education helps to increase awareness of potential mental health issues affecting co-workers and even themselves. Education can also contribute to removing the stigma around mental illness.

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This realization will encourage employees to speak openly about mental health, which further removes the stigma. By eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health/illness employees are more likely to seek treatment.

 

4. Train Managers

Leadership needs to be educated similarly to all other employees, but their education should go a step further. Managers need to be trained on how to:

— Recognize employees suffering from a mental illness

— Talk with staff about mental health

— Work with and accommodate employees suffering from a mental illness

Management needs to understand how much mental illness can affect both the individual and the business. They need to be trained to help their team members through potential mental health issues.

 

5. Encourage Treatment

Actively encourage your employees to seek and receive treatment for any mental illness. Provide them with information and support to get treated. Offer employees a free mental health screening.

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A mental health screening can lead to early identification of mental illness. Early identification, in turn, helps to cut costs related to treatment, and costs resulting from a mental illness affecting an employee’s work.

Another treatment option is an Employee Assitance Program. These programs help employees seek treatment through a confidential, third-party administrator. EAPs give your employees safe and confidential options for mental health treatment.

 

6. Support Your Staff

Make sure every employee, throughout the organization, is working to help colleagues who suffer from a mental illness. Organizations can support employees with mental illnesses by:

Altering their role

Changing their environment = Offer flexible work options

Monitoring and managing workloads = If employees are regularly working overtime, or taking work home, you may need to address resource or staffing issues

Prevent bullying and discrimination = Foster an environment of respect, and create a formal and informal complaint handling process

 

7. Keep Track

Make sure that your business is consistently collecting and tracking data related to your mental health program. Begin collecting data immediately. Without a baseline of information, you won’t be able to accurately measure your results with the data you collect after you implement the program.

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Collect relevant data such as:

— Employee health care costs

— Absenteeism

— Job satisfaction

— Productivity

— Employee Questionnaires and Surveys

 

Why Mental Health Programs Are Good for Business

Promoting treatment of mental health in the workplace makes your employees, and organization as a whole, more successful.

 

Absenteeism

Mental illness is an enormous contributing factor towards employee absenteeism, and this issue is only growing. The World Health Organization estimates that, by 2030, the world will lose 12 billion workdays to depression and anxiety alone, if treatment does not improve.

According to Jennifer Schneider, Chief Medical Officer of Livongo Health, behavioral issues are responsible for 40 percent of missed work, yet 70 percent of those who suffer go untreated.

Treating more of your employees who suffer from a mental illness can help your company to decrease cases of absenteeism.

 

Recruit and Retain

A strong mental health program helps recruit top talent by demonstrating your organization really cares about its staff. An established program tells recruits that your company pays attention to its employee’s and values every aspect of their health.

transparency in business

Having a mental health program also improves your ability to retain current employees. An employee suffering from a mental illness is less likely to search for other employment if his/her current employer is helping to treat their illness.

Helping employees improve their mental health also works to foster goodwill towards the company. This goodwill, in turn, decreases the chances of employees being dissatisfied and looking for a new job.

 

Health Care Costs

Mental illness results in a substantial amount of health care costs for employers, every year. Here are three statistics that show the costs untreated mental illness can have on your organization:

— People with untreated mental illness use (non-psychiatric) inpatient and outpatient services three times more than those who are treated

— Individuals who are depressed but not receiving care for the condition consume two to four times the healthcare resources

— People with anxiety disorders see a doctor three to five times more often than those without anxiety disorders

Treating mental illness helps both employers and employees save money by reducing consumption of healthcare resources and services.

 

Productivity

The healthier an employee is, the better their performance will be. A mental health program provides employees with the support they need to be their most productive.

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In a survey by Employee Benefits News magazine, 31 percent of respondents cited mental illness as the number one cause of lost productivity and increased absenteeism.

According to Health and Productivity Management, mental illness was the number two reported health reason for lost productivity.

These statistics highlight the drain that mental illness can have on an employee, their productivity, and ultimately, the business.

 

The Wrap

Use these seven strategies to establish your mental health program. Improved mental health in the workplace leads to decreased absenteeism, improved recruitment and retention, lowered healthcare costs, and increased productivity.

All of this adds up to an enormous impact on your company’s success. Analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that an average business experiences a return on investment of $2.30 for every $1 spent creating a mentally healthy work environment.

Contrary to Cypress Hills’s belief, you should only be insane in the brain, or membrane, when on the dance floor.