Mental health conditions are on the rise, affecting 1 in 5 American adults
- More than 60% of U.S. workers say their jobs stress them out, a new netQuote study shows. Of the 1,012 respondents in the study, 41% have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and 52% said they believe their mental health has interfered with their work.
- The study also shows that only a quarter of respondents felt comfortable asking to take a day off for their mental health, even though most employees receive an average of seven paid sick days, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Netquote cites the NSF International, a public health and safety organization, which says that Americans feel their employers expect them to arrive at work every day, regardless of their health. And some employees report being threatened or fired for taking time off.
- Anxiety and panic disorders have severely impacted employees in finance, arts and entertainment, government, and public administration, and education, according to Netquote's study. It reports that 38% of workers in the finance industry suffer from a diagnosed anxiety and panic disorder. Depression has hit the American workforce just as hard: 40% of employees working in the legal field have depression.
Behavioral disorders are often much more difficult to treat than physical illnesses. And based on the findings of health specialists, the healthcare system isn't always able to treat and manage mental health disorders. This limitation puts pressure on employers to help get workers well, back on the job and productive again.
According to the Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR), the U.S. spends $201 billion annually on depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders, making mental health treatment the costliest of all medical conditions. In April, CPR released tools to help employers assess and understand mental health services. The goal is to get workers the treatment they need in the most cost-effective way.
Some employers have added mental health services to their well-being programs as a way to manage the surge in anxiety and depression among workers. Many are looking to their employee assistance programs (EAPs) to address the problem.
Other solutions employers might consider include offering onsite healthcare clinics, giving employees access to virtual counseling and training staff in stress management techniques.
- Netquote Mental Health at Work
- One Medical Mental health and the workplace: How employers can help