The World Health Organization estimates that depression and anxiety will cost the global economy over $1 trillion a year in lost productivity costs. But, the ROI of treating common mental health concerns is $4 for every $1 spent. Nowadays, many employees expect mental health benefits to be included in the workplace and for their employer’s support.
Many corporate wellness programs focus on encouraging physical activity, preventative care, treating illnesses and chronic conditions to improve overall physical health. But an employee who isn’t feeling their best mentally, can’t bring their whole self to work. Research shows that nearly 86% of employees treated for depression reported an improved work performance. In addition, treatment of mental health conditions can reduce presenteeism and absenteeism by up to 60%.
Working with a health coach or wellness partner that specializes in mental health support is a way to improve retention, productivity, and company morale. Depression can interfere with an employee’s ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time, and can cause a 35% reduction in cognitive performance. Many of these employees suffer silently, lacking the resources needed to receive adequate counseling.
Bringing mental health into the workplace can help employers with retention as well. Open conversations around psychiatric disorders can help detach the stigma and make employees feel more comfortable in their place of work. An employee may feel more prepared to seek treatment. Employers who provide mental health benefits at the workplace are advantageous over those who don’t, and will see better rates of retention.
Decrease in Health Care Spend
Adding mental health resources at no charge for employees will also decrease overall healthcare spending. The National Alliance on Mental Health found that individuals with serious mental health concerns have twice as high rates of cardiovascular and metabolic disease. It’s easy to forget that mental and physical health are connected, but comprehensive programs that treat both simultaneously will have the highest rates of success. Many times, when an employee has no drive or motivation to improve their physical health or biometric results, it’s associated with a mental health concern. When an employer focuses on making their entire population healthier, they need to prioritize health as a whole, including mental health.
How to Get Started
An employer can start by bringing the conversation of mental health into the workplace. Addressing employees directly, reducing the stigma, and letting all employees know that mental health is important to the company is highly encouraged. Keep conversations open and work with employees at all levels to understand how needs can be met. Employers can then begin discussing employee insurance plans to expand mental health coverage. When adjusting policies, ensure all employees are alerted and encouraged to take advantage.
At TargetCare, mental well-being continues to be a focus when working with organizations and their employees. We strive to deliver care in a holistic, pro-active manner and that includes prioritizing the emotional and mental well-being of the employees. Our health programs focus on one on one interaction with employees where we not only address physical health concerns, but mental health concerns as well.