Mental Health in the Workplace: Numerous studies show that work is the primary source of stress for American adults, and it has been getting progressively worse. Increased levels of job stress have been associated with increased risk of heart attack, hypertension, and other disorders. This not only causes suffering for individual employees, but also negatively affects businesses and the economy as a whole. Based on research by Harvard University Medical School, untreated mental illness costs the US a minimum of $105 billion in lost productivity each year. Most organizations' health plans cover physical ailments, while mental health problems lag far behind. Serious mental illnesses cost society nearly $200 billion in lost earnings per year.
Studies performed on mental health in the workplace suggest that these personal and financial costs could be eased if more workers who needed treatment were able to receive it. Employees and employers are encouraged to think of mental health as an investment- one that's sure to pay off in the long run. To better understand the issue at hand, check out this infographic of 7 alarming workplace mental health statistics:
Mental Health in the Workplace - Statistic #1: Attendance
Over one million people miss work every day due to work-related stress. An overwhelming amount of responsibilities and things to accomplish on a daily basis are a common occurrence in the American workplace. It's easy to feel over your head as deadlines, tasks, meetings, and other events pile up. Everyone should have sufficient time in their lives to relax and unwind. A weekend may not always feel like enough.
Mental Health in the Workplace - Statistic #2: Problem Left Untreated
The indirect costs of untreated mental health disorders result in a $79 billion annual loss to businesses due to loss of productivity and absenteeism. This clearly indicates that far too many people aren't getting the help they need. The absence of time and resources for members of the work force dealing with mental health issues will only make matters worse.
Mental Health in the Workplace - Statistic #3: Depression and Absences
Depression results in more days of disability leave than chronic health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. One reason for this may be a general unwillingness for employees to admit to having depression or anxiety. Unfortunately, it is still somewhat taboo in the workplace and some management may not see it as a legitimate excuse to miss work. Hopefully these attitudes will drastically change, especially with awareness of mental health disorders on the rise.
Mental Health in the Workplace - Statistic #4: Work Is Stressful
69% of employees report that their main source of stress is work, and 41% say they feel tense/stressed throughout the day. It's up to managers to create a loose environment, where employees can enjoy their work and remain focused. Employees need to take opportunities to relax without feeling like they aren't working hard enough.
Mental Health in the Workplace - Statistic #5: Employee Health a Priority?
52% of employees report that their company doesn't do enough to promote employee health. Health and happiness go hand in hand, and it's clear companies can do more to improve the wellness of their employees.
Mental Health in the Workplace - Statistic #6: Poor Mental Health is Costly
Mood disorders cost more than $50 billion in lost productivity and result in $321 million in lost workdays. Mood disorders can go unnoticed for long periods, slowly breaking a person down and stifling momentum. America's workforce is obviously stressed out, and more attention needs to be paid to improve office environments and access to treatment.
Mental Health in the Workplace - Statistic #7: Working Overtime
Full-time employee status in the US is 40 hours minimum per week. However, 80% of Americans are putting in 48 hours weekly. It shouldn't come as a surprise that 2/3 of employees feel overwhelmed at work. You don't need more than 40 hours in a week to get a lot of things accomplished. It is likely that American businesses need to think of solutions to increase efficiency and keep employees focused on results.