The Importance Of Mental Health
According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 300 million people worldwide who suffer from depression and anxiety. One of their recent studies also revealed that depression and anxiety are the leading causes of disability and they cost the global economy about $1 trillion each year in lost productivity.
In order for organizations to be successful, they need their employees to be mentally healthy and productive. However, most organizations do not realize the role the workplace plays in their employees’ mental health. According to Mental Health America (MHA), the workplace makes a big psychological impact on employees. On a daily basis, employees will spend more waking hours in the workplace than at home and will overall spend a quarter to a third of their life in the workplace. With that being said, creating a workplace that supports mental health is extremely important. Listed below are the two main strategies for incorporating mental health into your workplace or already existing wellness program.
The first strategy is to include an Employee Assistance Program, or EAP. SHRM defines an EAP as a work-based intervention program designed to assist employees in resolving personal problems that may negatively affect the employee’s performance. EAPs are incredibly beneficial because they can help employees with emotional and substance use issues, interpersonal relationships, legal problems, financial difficulties, or the challenges of returning to work after a serious illness. Some EAPs may also provide information or resources related to mental health and work/life balance.
Once you have your EAP in place, be sure to communicate with managers, employees, and their family members about what exactly the EAP is and what services it will cover. It is also important to frequently manage the programs offered within the EAP to ensure all services are high quality and are relevant to what your employees need. For more information on EAPs, click here!
Good health insurance is considered one of the most important employee benefits, and the best health insurance options are those that cover mental health services. This leads us to the second strategy, which is to evaluate your health insurance and make sure they cover mental health services. Once you have confirmed that these services are covered, William McPeck, a consultant, trainer and coach who specializes in employee wellness and safety, recommends connecting with the individual who handles your organization’s mental health and substance abuse claims. Ask them if there are any educational mental health resources that you can have access to. If so, work on incorporating those resources into your wellness program to help promote mental health. You can also ask them if there is anything else you could add into the wellness program that will help supplement the clinical mental health treatment services offered.
For more information about these two strategies and promoting mental health in the workplace, click here!