Speaking up: Championing employee mental health with digital resources
July 6, 2017
Would you be surprised to know that in a team of 10, chances are that 2 have dealt with a mental health issue? With numbers like these, it’s shocking that mental health in the workplace is so poorly represented. In the long run, this lack of conversation is costing your company money. While difficult to quantify, employee wellness does have a monetary value and saves most companies greatly in reduced health care costs.
Responsive mental health systems are the best way to promote mental health from within an organization. When employees can access mental health information easily and securely, you can break the barriers that keep those suffering from speaking out.
Mental health in the workplace
Conversations about mental health are woefully absent from most workplaces. The sad truth is that most employees are silenced by the stigma behind mental health disorders. Further promoting silence, employees might not seek treatment out of fear of termination. Those employees who look for help might not know where or how to access it.
Regardless, these tough conversations need to happen. When mental health is left undiscussed, other issues inevitably bubble to the surface. Employees may be absent more or come to work when they’re sick. They will be disengaged, fatigued, and stressed, culminating in a negative effect on your bottom line.
The value of employee wellness
When employees are unhappy or unwell, this costs money in the form of decreased productivity, inefficient work, and increased health care costs. Employee wellness programs can mitigate this loss. In fact, a 2016 study by the US Chamber of Commerce found that 60% of employers said workplace wellness program reduced their healthcare costs.
You have a financial incentive to keep workers happy and healthy. That same study discovered that well-designed employee wellness programs deliver a return of 50 to 300% on investment over a two- to nine-year time frame. At those returns, you can’t afford not to worry about employee wellness.
What is responsive design for mental health?
A responsive system responds to the needs of the people using it. When used in the context of mental health, these systems are digital health and wellness platforms, providing 24/7 access to expert mental health advice. Responsive systems include resources in various formats (like videos, podcasts, and fact sheets) to maximize ease of access. Perhaps most important is that these systems are fully confidential and anonymous. Access and use are never tied to a specific person, but data can be viewed in aggregate to identify trends and areas for improvement.
Mental health resources, by design
Responsive design is essential for facilitating access to mental health information due to its simplicity and confidentiality. When information is easy to access, employees are encouraged to take care of themselves and their total well-being, and they have the tools to do so. Responsive systems can also help with absence management, improved employee engagement, and better workplace wellness overall.
In turn, you are rewarded with employee insight. With responsive mental health systems, employers gain a window into why their employees might be struggling. Then, with this information comes the opportunity to help employees live healthier, more fulfilling lives.
Employee wellness, especially when related to employee mental health, is a tough conversation that you need to be having with your employees. Using a health and wellness program with responsive design can improve employee well-being while saving costs. You owe it to your employees to provide easy access to the mental health information they need most.
To learn how LifeSpeak can help your company improve and support your employees’ mental well-being, book a demo today.