Anxiety Is Expensive: Employee Mental Health Costs Rise Twice as Fast as All Other Medical Expenses
October 19, 2018
American companies are taking steps to address rising employee mental health costs. According to recent data, employers’ annual mental health spending has increased twice as fast as other medical expenses in the past five years. Behavioral health conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse, are particularly costly for employers because of the treatment they require. Many employers are responding to these increased costs by making mental health a higher priority in the workplace. Efforts include increasing access to services and offering more generous wellness benefits, such as online coaching and stress reduction tools. Some companies are shifting their corporate culture to focus on well-being. “Employers are increasingly recognizing . . . the importance of taking care of health, well-being, and mental health, and also the role stress, isolation, loneliness, and some of these other factors can play in overall mental health and well-being,” said Darcy Gruttadaro, director of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation’s Center for Workplace Mental Health.
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