May 1, 2012

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Balancing Act

Addressing Mental Health Creates a Better Workplace

Di Lewis

May 1, 2012

Glather wants employers to recognize mental health treatment is in everyone’s best interest. From a business perspective, the cost of mental illness left untreated or undertreated ends up being much higher than proper care. And from a human perspective, making sure people get the help they need is always the right thing to do. 

Each year 217 million workdays are completely or partially lost due to mental disorders. Workers with depression lose an average of 5.6 productive hours per week, compared to an average loss of 1.5 hours per week for workers without depression. In the U.S., the annual economic, indirect cost of mental illnesses is estimated to be at least $79 billion.

Source: The High Costs of Cutting Mental Health, NAMI

Percentage of Employees Work-Impaired
Before and After Treatment
0 Weeks, No Treatment – 31%
After 3 Weeks of Treatment – 18%
After 9 Weeks of Treatment – 15%
After 21 Weeks of Treatment – 13%

Source: Behavioral Health Care: A Worthwhile Investment?, by ER Jones, GS Brown, Employee Benefit Plan Review, August 2003, pp 13-14


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