August 29, 2021
by Calvin E. Beyer, Leia Spoor and Lisa Desai
By 2030, depression will be the leading cause of lost productivity in all economically advanced countries.
Finding peace of mind and mental clarity isn’t always easy, but it can often be the first step toward personal and professional success. On the flip side, when stress seems consuming, it can affect a person’s ability to focus, thereby taking a toll on workplace performance.
The American Heart Association CEO Roundtable Report surveyed thousands of employees (pre-COVID) and found 76% reported they struggled with at least one issue affecting their mental health.
The past year of COVID-related social distancing, isolation and worry have resulted in increased rates of stress, anxiety and depression. Even post-pandemic, addressing these challenges head-on and with a research-focused strategy is critical.
As companies across all sectors balance the return of their workforce in person or in a hybrid format and address the mental wellbeing of their employees, several critical trends emerge as necessary steps for employers to ensure the maximum wellbeing of their team. These include:
Understanding the connection between mental and physical health:
- According to data from Springbuk Analytics, 69% of patients with a mental health condition also have a chronic condition.
- When patients have a mental health condition and at least one chronic condition, insurance costs to employers rise by 126%.
Understanding how mental health affects workplace productivity:
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that approximately 45% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2019.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that, by 2030, depression will be the leading cause of lost productivity in all economically advanced countries.
Of course, with a diverse range of possible methods, solidifying best practices can seem overwhelming even for the most experienced management professionals. The “Building a Caring Culture: Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace” white paper, prepared in conjunction with CSDZ, Holmes Murphy and MindWise Innovations, provides key insights and best practices on addressing mental health in the workplace.
See also: State of Mental Health in the Workplace
Building a workplace where mental health can easily be addressed is no small task. Mental health needs to be addressed across all sectors, such as health, wellness, safety and employee benefits.
Training leaders and supervisors to provide care and support to their employees, accepting employees for who they are, fostering a safe and empathetic workplace and understanding that each worker has other stresses, pressures and distractions from their personal lives all contribute to making mental health a priority in the workplace.
By talking about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, we can work together to break down the stigma and help others with existing conditions.
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