Integrated Absence Management: Workplace Mental Health

DMEC Staff

Workplace Mental Health: Research on Preventing Lost Productivity & Work Disability

Workplace Mental HealthBy Glenn Pransky, MD

Scientific Advisor
Lincoln Financial Group

By David Berube, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Lincoln Financial Group

By Jana Martin, PhD

The American Insurance Trust

Significant mental health illness (MHI) affects almost 20% of employees and costs employers over $80 billion annually, mostly for lost productivity and absenteeism.1 Anxiety, depression, and substance abuse are the most common mental diagnoses; together, they account for over 8% of all long-term disability claims.2 Although treatment may improve mood, behavior, productivity, and absenteeism,3 and can be cost-effective for employers,4 studies have shown that many people with MHI don’t get proper treatment.5

Why does this problem persist? Several factors may be involved. Employees and their family members may not be aware that they have a significant problem or that it’s treatable; screening for MHI may not be adequately addressed in primary care.6 Some workers may be concerned about stigmatization and discrimination at work or in their community. Co-pays for healthcare visits and pharmaceuticals can be daunting, and insurance coverage for therapy may be limited.7

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