Poor mental health is a pervasive problem that affects every industry. From a monetary perspective, mental health issues cost the United States at least $193 billion in lost earnings each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Factor in lost productivity and the losses are even higher. This is a huge issue, given that 20% of U.S. adults are diagnosed with at least one mental illness in their lifetime. And the undiagnosed cases are projected to be even greater.
All this is to say that employers can do better in terms of dealing with mental health issues. In fact, not doing so can make things worse. Luckily, there are a number of options employers can use to improve employee mental health and their company’s bottom line, including:
- Making sure mental health services are covered in-network, saving employees from out-of-pocket costs and thus encouraging greater usage
- Training managers to spot mental health issues early among employees
- Hiring an on-site counselor to talk to employees about their mental health, referring them to specialists as needed
The most important aspect, aside from offering mental health resources, is that employees know exactly how to get help, including whom to contact for immediate assistance.