It is no secret that more people around the country (and world) have been under additional stress in the past two years, whether at home, at work, or at school. While the pandemic has certainly increased the mental distress people have felt, it has also thankfully helped shine a light on the overall need to address it that was present long before social distancing, masks or vaccination status became part of routine conversations.
This has created an opportunity for people to pay more attention to mental well-being, and one of the best places to provide support is through the workplace. In fact, research is showing that there are many benefits to doing this, not just for the companies, but for society as a whole.
According to data supplied by the American Psychiatric Association, employees with unresolved depression experience a 35% reduction in productivity, contributing to a loss to the U.S. economy of $210.5 billion a year in absenteeism, reduced productivity, and medical costs.
Per the National Safety Council, employers that support mental health see a return of $4 for every dollar invested in mental health services. Chronic exposure to stressful workplace environment can lead to a variety of conditions, including depression, anxiety, an inability to concentrate and emotional exhaustion. Adding this to stressful conditions in the home, and the problem can quickly grow. Employees experiencing mental distress use close to $3,000 more in health care services per year than their peers. The cost of days lost averages $4,783 per year per employee, and the costs of turnover averages $5,733 per year per employee. Additionally, employees who have experienced mental distress in the past year are more likely to have reported driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs, and mentally distressed workers are 3.5 times more likely to have substance use disorders.
As you can see, this is absolutely something that employers should be paying attention to. After all, people are our best resources, not the products we make or the services we provide. Ideally, work provides a sense of connection with others toward a common purpose or goal and achieving this starts with caring.
Recommendations for Employers
Addressing these issues in the workplace takes the whole organization, including leadership, human resources, supervisors and managers, safety professionals, and of course, employees themselves.
The first way to be able to help any situation is to be aware of it. Through awareness we can then render an appropriate response, such as making mental health and wellbeing a priority for the company and its employees. Then we can identify areas of distress that need attention and introduce supportive measures through incorporation of policies and procedures as well as additional resources.
How Innovia Behavioral Health Can Help
Innovia Behavioral Health is the first to offer a subscription-based program of its kind that provides the ability to participate in as many live groups that are applicable to each member. We understand that people’s need for support can change over time, so they can choose which groups and facilitators fit their needs from month to month, week to week, and even day to day.
Although the first physical locations will be opening up in Georgia, services will be available digitally to people anywhere in the country.
Contact us today to find out more how we can improve your company by helping your employees lead happier, healthier lives.
Cost Calculator for Employers
Interested to see how your company might be impacted by mental distress? Check out the calculator from the National Safety Council and NORC at the University of Chicago here.