Overcoming the Disability Epidemic: Mental Health and the Engaged Workplace

Tasha Patterson@Work

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Depression and Workplace EngagementBy Les Kertay, PhD, ABPP, LP

Chief Medical Officer
R3 Continuum

Employers cannot afford to ignore the impact of mental health and well-being in the workplace. Mental health disorders are the third highest cause of lost years of healthy life, after cardiovascular disorders and cancer.1 Depression accounts for the largest share of loss,2 with an estimated cost of $23 billion in absenteeism.3 Total costs, including reduced productivity while at work (presenteeism), are much higher, and short-term disability durations are substantially longer for employees with comorbid depression.4

And direct and indirect costs of diagnosable mental health disorders are only the tip of the iceberg. Psychosocial factors including stress, coping, and job fit are major drivers of employee turnover, absenteeism, and unnecessarily extended workplace absence.5

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