Why employers should focus on workplace Mental Health

Mental health experts have been warning us that a mental health pandemic will follow after Covid-19. Mental health problems have a direct impact on workplace mental health, employers and businesses. Mental Health directly affects businesses through increased absenteeism, a negative impact on productivity and profits. And according to WHO and NAMI an increase in costs to deal with these issues.

  • Depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.
  • An estimated 264 million people globally suffer from depression, one of the leading causes of disability, with many of these people also suffering from symptoms of anxiety.
  • Across the U.S. economy, serious mental illness causes $193.2 billion in lost earnings each year. Depression is thought to count for up to 400 million lost work days annually.
  • Mental Health costs US businesses ~$100 billion annually in direct medical cost.
  • Two-thirds don’t get the treatment they need due to neglect, lack of understanding of mental health issues, stigma, cost, wait times, and lack of access to treatment.

American Psychiatric Association created a Depression Cost Calculator,  based on peer-reviewed literature and available pharmaceutical data. APA goal was to develop a methodologically sound, conservative model to estimate the impact of depression and the benefits of basic medical care and enhanced care in the workforce.

Workplace Mental Health wellbeing

Given the case, investing in supporting training and treatment for mental health is clearly a no-brainer. Employees will benefit and in turn, so will the business. Most organizations aren’t much without their employees and that their wellbeing has to be a priority because of the vast individual, organizational and economic cost. For every US$ 1 put into scaled up treatment for common mental disorders, there is a return of US$ 4 in improved health and productivity.

Mental health interventions should be delivered as part of an integrated health and well-being strategy that covers prevention, early identification, support and rehabilitation. Organizations should look at implementing initiatives on creating awareness and providing employees with benefits that includes self-help tools and programs. Investing in mental health initiatives for leaders and employees of an organization can help in several ways. 

Focus on early intervention or prevention

Potential warning signs employers can look out for that may hint at an employee experiencing a drop in their mental health

  • Changes in mood, these can be unexpected and sudden
  • A drop-in work rate, missing deadlines and deliverables
  • Trouble focusing, this could take many forms including asking repetitive questions
  • Anxious and fidgety behavior

Reduce stigma and create a positive workplace

Let’s face it. There is still a stigma surrounding mental health. By revealing issues, people fear to become isolated, viewed as abnormal, and considered unfit for the job. Employers have an essential role to play in supporting employees with education about mental health and creating an open dialogue. Providing resources that promote awareness can help create an accessible and positive workplace, one that fosters engagement and attracts talent.

Treating Issues Reduces Impact

An employer should have the necessary resources in place for an employee to access them with ease, get help and reduce the impact. Therefore, HR may want to provide a wide variety of treatment options including online programs, benefit plans, hiring a wellness counselor or a combination of these approaches to help assist employees. Prevention is better than cure and instead of taking chances or waiting until one of your employees develop a serious mental issue, create awareness at your workplace in advance

Less Stress and More Benefits to Bring Home

When people stress about their mental health problems at work, they bring that stress home. It then negatively impacts their life and relationships outside of work. By creating an environment where people can openly discuss their mental health issues and treatment, we can reduce this stress. This will improve our lives outside of work and make friends and family grateful we are not unloading extra work stress on them.

Decreasing Social Isolation and Making People Feel Included

Mental illness can make people feel isolated. They might not be seeing a therapist or know anyone who will understand or accept their illness. The loneliness can exacerbate illnesses such as depression.

Employers can prevent this isolation by encouraging employees with mental health issues to connect with other people who deal with similar issues. Creating an environment where people can discuss mental illness openly will negate this feeling of isolation. Social inclusion at the workplace makes people happier, and mental illness should not stand in the way of inclusion. The satisfaction and inclusion brings Workplace Mental Health fitness as important as physical health.

At Yubi Health, we believe in an integrated approach to mental health rooted in evidence-based science that can be part of your total health and wellness plan. We believe we have the right solution and ecosystem to help members drive the health outcomes. we are passionate about changing lives and our mission is “enabling people to lead fulfilling lives”. 

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