4 Ways To Support Employee Mental Health
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Twenty-one percent of U.S. adults live with a mental health condition — which is roughly the equivalent of the population of Florida or New York. More than half are not receiving any treatment.
The detrimental effects of untreated mental health conditions should give employers pause. Most notably, lack of care can cause considerable suffering for employees and their loved ones. On the organizational side, it can lead to reduced productivity along with increased absenteeism, turnover, and healthcare costs. Employers today have an unprecedented opportunity to support mental health in the workplace and those who do can see a return of $4 for every dollar they invest.
4 Ways To Support Growing Demand For Employee Mental Health Resources
- Promote Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Year-round. Most people only pay attention to their benefits when they need them. That’s why it’s important to regularly promote your employee assistance program as a vital part of your mental health benefit offerings. In a Business Group on Health survey on EAPs in 2022, employers revealed that 86% of employees who use their EAP do so to access mental health services.
EAPs offer counseling to help employees address minor mental health concerns like work-life balance, stress, anxiety, and burnout. They also offer help for life’s stressors like legal or financial issues, or challenges with child and elder care. Use marketing materials developed by your EAP provider to ensure your employees understand all it offers.
- Implement A Healthcare Advocate Program. An end-to-end healthcare advocacy program such as Empire’s Total Health Connections uses real-time, bidirectional data to identify emerging risks, including depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and other behavioral health issues. Healthcare advocates then provide appropriate outreach, compassionate support, and attention to social drivers of health that may impact everyday stress and anxiety.
An advocacy-based approach embodies a simple, intuitive, guided, and personalized experience that supports your employees’ unique personal health journey.
- Educate Employees On Your Virtual Care Offerings. Telehealth has proved its worth as a convenient and effective way to receive medical care. The same holds true for mental health visits. The rapid growth of virtual care and adoption of platforms like the SydneySM Health app has eliminated many barriers to care, from transportation and childcare issues to taking time off work and the fear of being seen at a mental health provider’s office.
Moreover, virtual care has improved access for those who didn’t have it before. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that more than 60% of all U.S. counties — including 80% of rural counties — don’t have a single psychiatrist. Even in areas that have mental health professionals, there are often not enough to meet the growing need. Virtual care helps fill that gap.
- Launch A Digital Learning Academy For Managers. You likely have training programs for people managers. Why not include education about your EAP and other mental health resources? Launching a mental health learning academy would ensure managers understand how your EAP resources can support their team and that your company takes mental health seriously.
Topics could include things like how to recognize stress and work burnout, how to reduce mental health stigma, and how to encourage open and honest conversations. Managers can learn how to foster the well-being of their staff, as well as learn when and how to engage your EAP referral process.
When employers show genuine commitment to mental health care, their employees feel confident, protected, and covered. In turn, the organizations themselves may benefit from increased productivity, lower medical costs, reduced absenteeism and turnover, and a happier, healthier workplace.
Sydney Health is offered through an arrangement with Carelon Digital Platforms, a separate company offering mobile application services on behalf of your health plan. ©2020-2022 The Virtual Primary Care experience is offered through an arrangement with Hydrogen Health.