Nearly a quarter (22%) of workers suffer from a treatable mental health condition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And a significant amount of these workers are seeking help in all the wrong places. That incorrect treatment could be putting a significant dent in your bottom line.
The underlying issue
Here’s the problem: The most common mental health issues that take place at work stem from anxiety and depression – and those conditions come with physical symptoms.
As a result, workers seek help for the physical problems and not the underlying condition.
That leads to unneeded health services (series of tests, etc.) that ultimately cost far more than proper mental health treatment.
Of course, that doesn’t even take into account the missed work time and productivity issues that stem from untreated mental health conditions.
So what can employers do? First, if your company offers a solid employee assistance program (EAP), make sure employees are well aware of the program and what it can do.
Key: Pitch the EAP as a gateway to a wealth of mental health services.
2 key focus areas
To make sure your mental health benefits are as effective as possible, the folks at ERISA Diagnostics Inc. offer these best practices:
1. Revisit the plan design. Go over the key data – gender, age, job type, etc. – and make sure the benefits make sense for your workforce.
Also look over past claims data and customize your network of mental health specialists based on preference.
2. Monitor the results. Benefits pros should be tracking the effectiveness of their mental health benefits.
Some questions to ask: What’s the relationship between access to services and employee productivity? Is there a link between increased mental health spending and decreased health issues?