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The Blueprint

The Value of Mental Health Benefits

Where does mental health fit into the workplace? As culture has changed over recent years, people are becoming more open toward, accepting of, and willing to seek mental health support. Whether for diagnosed conditions or ongoing well-being, various combinations of therapy, medication, and other resources are now more mainstream than ever. Yet, while some employers have embraced this in their workforce, many others are hesitant to invest in mental health coverage and resources, especially in an increasingly costly healthcare market.

As mental health services continue to gain traction, how can employers strategically navigate the needs of their members? Is mental health support a lasting investment or just another cost for employers?

Popular Demand

Although outdated stigmas might suggest that poor mental health is uncommon or an intangible concern, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The overwhelming majority of people have experienced struggles with their mental health, either chronically or acutely. In fact, 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a psychological disorder at some point in their life and 20% of adults will experience mental illness each year1. These issues can equate to negative outcomes for businesses across the country through absenteeism, lack of productivity, or lowering quality of work.

Unfortunately, however, many employers aren’t aware of this reality. While 92% of employees report that mental health ought to be a priority, 55% also report that their employers value emotional well-being less than they do. Even worse, 43% state that they believe sharing their mental health with employers could hurt their employment2. As a result, employers tend to overestimate their team’s happiness and energy levels, negatively affecting workplace satisfaction and morale.

A Cost-Saving Investment

Aside from the direct well-being of their employees, employers also have several financial incentives to value their team’s mental well-being—similarly to their physical well-being. It is common knowledge that poor physical health can lead to declining performance and absenteeism, but the same is true for poor emotional health. Currently, 57% of employees are dissatisfied with their employer’s mental health coverage, coinciding with a lack of treatment for various conditions ranging from insomnia to depression and addiction.

The result? Currently, American employers are already paying nearly $226 billion a year in losses for the negative consequences of neglected mental health2. Broadly speaking, employers can expect to receive up to $4 in value for every $1 invested in employees’ mental health2. Just from untreated insomnia, employers pay nearly $2,000 per year per employee. And from anxiety or depression-related work absences, employers across the board are losing 13.8 million days of work a year and many millions of dollars.

The takeaway? Doing nothing to support employees’ mental health actually costs much more than providing robust benefits.

Engagement and Recruitment

Finally, as is true with other valuable health benefits, offering robust mental health support not only retains and boosts productivity for current employees but provides a competitive advantage in attracting top talent. As of now, about 50% of the workforce reports symptoms of burnout, often leading to absenteeism and turnover4. Yet, 79% of employees also report that mental health support, such as therapy, would heavily influence their choice of employer, or staying with a given employer4.

Ultimately, investing in employees’ mental health not only protects businesses from the cost of absenteeism, poor performance, and low morale, but also from over $1 trillion in turnover annually4.

Moving Forward

It can be difficult to determine which benefits are most valued by employees and how to affordably support them. With RMTS, your team can receive expert guidance on mitigating risk and rising healthcare costs, while prioritizing a healthy, growing, and engaged workforce.