Investing in Mental Health: Why It’s Important for Your Business

GINAMay, or Mental Health Awareness month, might be over, but that doesn’t mean we have to end the conversation. I’m not going to drone on about what you can do to improve your mental health—you know what you need to do—I’m going to take it a step further and talk about mental health as an essential component of your workplace culture, and more importantly, your bottom line.

Mental illness is one of the largest indirect costs when it comes to decreased performance caused by employee absenteeism and presenteeism (working while sick). It’s estimated that mental illness and substance abuse costs employers an estimated $225.8 billion each year, or $1,601 per person.

I bet you think that’s a lot of money, right? Well, there are ways you can prevent these costs from negatively impacting your business. Let’s take a look at some companies that are leading the way in mental health programs.

  • EY, formerly Ernst & Young, launched a mental health program in October 2016 called “r u ok?”. This program, designed to end the stigma surrounding mental illness, sought to connect employees with existing resources. Within the first three months of the program, there was a 30.2% increase in calls to the Assist Line pertaining to mental health, as well as 49,000 touchpoints generated among US employees.
  • Unilever has a global health initiative for all of its employees that includes a comprehensive program tailored to mental health. It provides training for managers and senior leaders, hosts internal campaigns, and holds regular employee workshops on sleep, mindfulness and exercise (all which have been linked to better psychological well-being).

By now, you’re probably thinking about how you can follow suit. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Promote a work/life balance: While acknowledging your employees should never be neglected, try shying away from praising them openly about putting in long hours. Not only could this make them feel like you expect this, but talking about it throughout your company may lead others to mirror the behavior. Instead, make it clear that you want everyone to live a full life outside of work.
  • Educate employees about mental health: Just talk about it. It’s as simple as that. Offer free screening tools that can help identify risk factors and potential treatment needs, and train managers to spot the symptoms and how to respond appropriately.
  • Talk about your healthcare benefits: Preach to your employees about your healthcare and insurance resources. If yours aren’t up to par, consider reevaluating and putting your employees’ needs first.
  • Make wellness a priority: Whether you offer incentives for employees participating in wellness programs, or you make space in the office (or studio in our case—yes we now have yoga here), make wellness the norm.
  • Reduce the stigma: By addressing stress management, self-care, and mental health, you’ll contribute to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.

If you’re still hesitant about incorporating mental health into your business culture, take a look at the facts. A study found that after only three weeks of receiving mental health treatment, the number of employees who were suffering from mental illness fell by 50%. The same study also illustrated that after four months, the number of employees who were suffering from mental illness decreased by 75% (and didn’t experience any more work-related losses).

When employees can receive treatment for mental illnesses, you’re able to lower your total medical costs, see increased productivity, experience lower absenteeism, and decrease disability costs. The key takeaway: Investing in mental health is good for your business.

How can we help you make change?

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Investing in Mental Health: Why It’s Important for Your Business

GINAMay, or Mental Health Awareness month, might be over, but that doesn’t mean we have to end the conversation. I’m not going to drone on about what you can do to improve your mental health—you know what you need to do—I’m going to take it a step further and talk about mental health as an essential component of your workplace culture, and more importantly, your bottom line.

Mental illness is one of the largest indirect costs when it comes to decreased performance caused by employee absenteeism and presenteeism (working while sick). It’s estimated that mental illness and substance abuse costs employers an estimated $225.8 billion each year, or $1,601 per person.

I bet you think that’s a lot of money, right? Well, there are ways you can prevent these costs from negatively impacting your business. Let’s take a look at some companies that are leading the way in mental health programs.

  • EY, formerly Ernst & Young, launched a mental health program in October 2016 called “r u ok?”. This program, designed to end the stigma surrounding mental illness, sought to connect employees with existing resources. Within the first three months of the program, there was a 30.2% increase in calls to the Assist Line pertaining to mental health, as well as 49,000 touchpoints generated among US employees.
  • Unilever has a global health initiative for all of its employees that includes a comprehensive program tailored to mental health. It provides training for managers and senior leaders, hosts internal campaigns, and holds regular employee workshops on sleep, mindfulness and exercise (all which have been linked to better psychological well-being).

By now, you’re probably thinking about how you can follow suit. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Promote a work/life balance: While acknowledging your employees should never be neglected, try shying away from praising them openly about putting in long hours. Not only could this make them feel like you expect this, but talking about it throughout your company may lead others to mirror the behavior. Instead, make it clear that you want everyone to live a full life outside of work.
  • Educate employees about mental health: Just talk about it. It’s as simple as that. Offer free screening tools that can help identify risk factors and potential treatment needs, and train managers to spot the symptoms and how to respond appropriately.
  • Talk about your healthcare benefits: Preach to your employees about your healthcare and insurance resources. If yours aren’t up to par, consider reevaluating and putting your employees’ needs first.
  • Make wellness a priority: Whether you offer incentives for employees participating in wellness programs, or you make space in the office (or studio in our case—yes we now have yoga here), make wellness the norm.
  • Reduce the stigma: By addressing stress management, self-care, and mental health, you’ll contribute to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.

If you’re still hesitant about incorporating mental health into your business culture, take a look at the facts. A study found that after only three weeks of receiving mental health treatment, the number of employees who were suffering from mental illness fell by 50%. The same study also illustrated that after four months, the number of employees who were suffering from mental illness decreased by 75% (and didn’t experience any more work-related losses).

When employees can receive treatment for mental illnesses, you’re able to lower your total medical costs, see increased productivity, experience lower absenteeism, and decrease disability costs. The key takeaway: Investing in mental health is good for your business.

How can we help you make change?

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Investing in Mental Health: Why It’s Important for Your Business

GINAMay, or Mental Health Awareness month, might be over, but that doesn’t mean we have to end the conversation. I’m not going to drone on about what you can do to improve your mental health—you know what you need to do—I’m going to take it a step further and talk about mental health as an essential component of your workplace culture, and more importantly, your bottom line.

Mental illness is one of the largest indirect costs when it comes to decreased performance caused by employee absenteeism and presenteeism (working while sick). It’s estimated that mental illness and substance abuse costs employers an estimated $225.8 billion each year, or $1,601 per person.

I bet you think that’s a lot of money, right? Well, there are ways you can prevent these costs from negatively impacting your business. Let’s take a look at some companies that are leading the way in mental health programs.

  • EY, formerly Ernst & Young, launched a mental health program in October 2016 called “r u ok?”. This program, designed to end the stigma surrounding mental illness, sought to connect employees with existing resources. Within the first three months of the program, there was a 30.2% increase in calls to the Assist Line pertaining to mental health, as well as 49,000 touchpoints generated among US employees.
  • Unilever has a global health initiative for all of its employees that includes a comprehensive program tailored to mental health. It provides training for managers and senior leaders, hosts internal campaigns, and holds regular employee workshops on sleep, mindfulness and exercise (all which have been linked to better psychological well-being).

By now, you’re probably thinking about how you can follow suit. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Promote a work/life balance: While acknowledging your employees should never be neglected, try shying away from praising them openly about putting in long hours. Not only could this make them feel like you expect this, but talking about it throughout your company may lead others to mirror the behavior. Instead, make it clear that you want everyone to live a full life outside of work.
  • Educate employees about mental health: Just talk about it. It’s as simple as that. Offer free screening tools that can help identify risk factors and potential treatment needs, and train managers to spot the symptoms and how to respond appropriately.
  • Talk about your healthcare benefits: Preach to your employees about your healthcare and insurance resources. If yours aren’t up to par, consider reevaluating and putting your employees’ needs first.
  • Make wellness a priority: Whether you offer incentives for employees participating in wellness programs, or you make space in the office (or studio in our case—yes we now have yoga here), make wellness the norm.
  • Reduce the stigma: By addressing stress management, self-care, and mental health, you’ll contribute to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.

If you’re still hesitant about incorporating mental health into your business culture, take a look at the facts. A study found that after only three weeks of receiving mental health treatment, the number of employees who were suffering from mental illness fell by 50%. The same study also illustrated that after four months, the number of employees who were suffering from mental illness decreased by 75% (and didn’t experience any more work-related losses).

When employees can receive treatment for mental illnesses, you’re able to lower your total medical costs, see increased productivity, experience lower absenteeism, and decrease disability costs. The key takeaway: Investing in mental health is good for your business.

How can we help you make change?

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *