Mental Health Issues In The Workplace Cost Americans $210B Annually

October 27, 2016  |  

Yoga at work? Yes, it can actually boost the company’s bottom line, as the practice and other stress relievers that promote positive mental health in workers can equal corporate success. But if businesses really want to look out for their workers’ mental health, they’re going to have to do a lot better than that said Jessica Leber in an article titled “Fixing Mental Health In The Workplace Requires A Lot More Than A Yoga Room.”

According to an alarming 2015 study from Harvard and Stanford University business schools, job-related stress has been related to about 120,000 deaths a year and has cost $190 billion a year in health care costs. The estimated cost of job-related stress to the U.S. is $210 billion a year, and a whopping half of that figure results from missed days and reduced productivity.

Mental health issues in the workplace are becoming more common and more transparent. “Mental health problems affect many employees — a fact that is usually overlooked because these disorders tend to be hidden at work,” reported Harvard Medical School. “Researchers analyzing results from the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey, a nationally representative study of Americans ages 15 to 54, reported that 18 percent of those who were employed said they experienced symptoms of a mental health disorder in the previous month.”

While addressing the mental health of workers may sound like another business expense, it’s actually cost-effective. “[F]focusing on workplace mental health is no longer simply a moral objective, but in a capitalist society (for better or for worse), it should be a fiscal priority, as well,” reported The Huffington Post.

Some companies have already taken action to help companies keep their workers mentally fit. Among them are Docz and The Carson J. Spencer Foundation’s Working Minds program. “Docz is a free and anonymous mobile community where one can ask questions or give advice to others. All advice is expert-verified and Docz is already being adapted to fit the needs of small, medium, and large-scale businesses. The Carson J. Spencer Foundation’s Working Minds program provides businesses with the tools and resources to identify and respond to friends, family members, and co-workers who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings,” reported The Post.

Still, the majority of companies fail to recognize the mental health issues their employees deal with as a result of their workload. Maybe if they knew the initial investment would benefit them in the longrun, more companies would address these issues head on.

How does your company tackle mental health?

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