One in five (43.8 million) American adults experiences at least one mental disorder in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Additionally, one in 25 (10 million) American adults experiences at least one serious mental illness that greatly interferes with or limits one or more major life activities, including work, in a given year.
According to NAMI’s research, “only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received mental health services in the past year.”
We know that mental health is a serious concern among Americans, but how does this translate for business leaders? What does it mean for employee benefits programs and potential expense? The effects on healthcare benefits could be greater than you think. NAMI reports:
- Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.
- Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.
- Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions. Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.
According to a recent article from Employee Benefit News, mental health management is becoming a much larger focus for employers as the rate of diagnosis for mental illness is on the rise. Staff attorney, Ben Hase, of Mountain States Employers Council Denver Employment Law Section said in a conference this week, “Mental health issues present very unique challenges. If you have an employee in a wheelchair, you can visually see an issue and see how you can help them, but if someone comes in with bipolar disorder, it’s harder to recognize or accommodate.”
What ways does your organization accommodate the needs of employees with mental illness? How aware is your leadership team of the need for such accommodation? Are your employees aware of the help available to them? The article addresses ways to help accommodate affected employees, citing communication as the primary means to achieving success for both employer and employee.
Treatment for mental illness may be covered under certain policies. If you would like to learn more about voluntary coverage options and employee benefits solutions, call your Taylor Insurance Services expert today. Don’t have a Taylor Agent? We’d love to get you connected to the Power of T. Call us today at (229) 247-6411. Our knowledgable experts are ready to help you get the most out of your employee benefits program and develop strategies that both recruit and retain top-notch talent.
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