Mental Health Awareness Month
October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month! As part of this observance, we want to share insights into employee depression and mental health:
- 78% of the employees say that pandemic has negatively affected their mental health.
- 85% of employees report that newfound work-related stress is affecting their home lives.
- 70% of employees report that the workplace itself is a current source of stress.
- 84% of employees surveyed experienced at least one mental health challenge over the past year.
- Employees with depression are 5x more likely than those without it to become unemployed.
- Depression is the leading cause of disability globally.
- Depression is among America’s most costly illnesses, accounting for over $51 billion in absenteeism and productivity annually, and costing individuals over $26 billion in direct treatment costs each year.
- Employers today are spending over $15,000 on average annually on each employee experiencing mental health issues.
- More than 50% of employees with mental illness do not get help mainly because of stigma, prejudice and discrimination against those with mental illnesses, as well as lack of awareness.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated an already existing mental health crisis, it also illuminated the importance of making mental well-being solutions easily accessible for employees. This year, National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month is providing leaders a chance to rekindle their efforts to safeguard and improve employee mental health.
Supporting Employee Mental Health
Nick Taylor Ph.D is the CEO and co-founder of Unmind, the authoritative, trusted workplace mental health platform designed to empower employees to proactively measure, understand, and improve their well-being. In an interview with WELCOA, he talks about a possible solution; a new, dual-spectrum employee mental health model that encompasses all employees and the full range of mental well-being. His three-part model idea is explained below:
1. Address Depression: Encourage employees to get screened for depression not only this month, but regularly. They can take a free online screening at Mental Health America or go through their provider. According to the CDC, those who report moderate depression get help only 57% of the time and those who report suffering from severe depression turn to professionals only 40% of the time. That is why not only addressing mental health and depression in the workplace, but also providing accessible solutions is so important.
2. Remove the Stigma: Removing the stigma attached to mental illness is the first step toward having a healthier, more productive workforce. To remove the stigma surrounding mental health, it is essential to fully infuse mental well-being into your workplace. This includes providing signposts to guide employees to outside help or referrals when they need it, providing tools and resources that help them check in on their own mental health and support them to stay on track emotionally.
3. Remember The 5-in-5 Rule: The mental health model that has been in place since the 1950’s was a great starting point and has gotten us to where we are now. However, it is no longer accurate in this ever-changing world of ours. The old model continues to stigmatize mental health because it puts mental health and mental illness at opposite ends of the same spectrum – if you have mental health, then you don’t have a mental illness, and vice versa. This new model recommends including workplace mental health solutions that treat the “5 in 5″ and really reframe the concept of mental well-being in the post-COVID-19 world. The 5-in-5 point rule for employee mental health means that every employee should be addressed and provided for. It is all about embracing employees and focusing on a holistic or “real world” concept of mental well-being.
It is important for employers to realize is that employees can have depression, or nearly any other mental health condition, and be mentally well. They can be mentally well if you define mental well-being as thriving, as having positive feelings and positive functioning, in their workplace performance, their interactions with colleagues, and their home life. All of that is possible regardless of any mental health condition, with the right support and tools. Health Designs provides a variety of mental health and well-being solutions including on-demand webinars, hands on workshops, well-being coaching and more! Click here to view our offerings or contact us to learn more!