Investing in Mental Health
May is Disability Income Awareness Month, making it a good time to discuss mental health concerns in the workplace and how disability insurance may help. Although there is increased awareness about mental health issues and resources, the workplace can still be challenging and stressful for many employees. Common challenges for employees, like fear of termination, can affect your team and business. Even if you currently offer mental health resources, are you ensuring your employees know what’s available?
Mental Health in the Workplace
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about one in five adults had a mental illness in 2020 and less than half received mental health services.1 Many mental illnesses are manageable with treatment but go untreated due to the negative stigma around asking for help. Fifty-nine percent of employees fear reaching out to a manager or human resources about their mental health because they think it could negatively impact their job security.2
Not having a supportive environment can cost your business too. Untreated employees often see a loss in productivity and increased absenteeism.
How Disability Insurance May Help
Some conditions covered by disability policies include mood, anxiety, eating, and psychotic disorders. Those affected may need treatment from residential facilities or day treatment programs. Others may only need outpatient therapy or psychiatric appointments. However, these treatment methods may require impacted employees to take time off occasionally.
Having disability insurance could encourage employees to seek treatment if they feel secure that they will get some financial assistance if they must miss work. Disability policies may pay as much as 60% of an employee’s salary depending on the policy. Additionally, stress, anxiety and untreated mental illnesses can lead to physical health issues that could benefit from disability coverage as well.
Supportive Work Environment
Employees may feel motivated to seek help sooner when they work in a supportive culture. Offering disability insurance is just one way to help foster this environment. Another option is to develop a plan for immediate and long-term support. This could include training management to offer proactive assistance to struggling employees, educating employees on their resources or offering Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). You can also encourage employees to participate in self-care or health and wellness activities to reduce stress. Your local community organizations may also have mental health resources that can be shared with employees.
By taking these steps, you may improve the work environment and potentially save costs in the future by investing in a reliable mental health program. It can also help break the stigma around seeking assistance.
This blog is up to date as of May 2023 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.