Mental health and substance abuse cost US business

Mental health is something we all have, just like physical health. And just like physical health, mental health can sit anywhere on a scale from good to bad. It’s a commonly accepted fact that adults spend roughly one-third of their lives at work. That’s a significant amount of time, within which we are likely to experience a spectrum of physical and mental health. This article will share some of the latest facts and figures around mental health and the workplace, explain why it should be an area of interest for executives and look at changes businesses can make to improve the wellbeing of its employees and support better mental health. This information is for everyone.

Work is considered good for health according to the World Health Organization. However, they also note that negative work environments can lead to physical and mental health problems and are also likely to perpetuate existing difficulties. What are the statistics around mental health and the workplace?

Mental health and substance abuse cost US businesses between $80 and $100 billion annually. Another study showed that serious mental illness costs America up to $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year

Depression is thought to count for up to 400 million lost work days annually. Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S – that’s 18.5% of the population – experience mental illness each year.

It’s important to note that while these signs could be because an employee is struggling with their mental health they could also be caused by other issues. If possible, The Shaw Mind Foundation suggest that employers avoid making assumptions, have an honest conversation but respect the privacy boundaries of their employees. The ultimate goal is to find a way to best assist the employee and in doing so it’s more than likely that the organization will be positively benefited also.