People experience a variety of painful issues in their lives. From the beginning some issues are more challenging than others, in part because of struggles with either addiction or depression. People who manage their concerns are also managing them when they step into their daily jobs. The problems people carry with them can affect their job performance and their relationships. Their compromised attention can cause additional frustrations such as mistakes and missed work. This is a significant problem businesses must address and some solutions have been discussed that offer the potential for a plan of action.Workplace Statistics One in four adults suffers from mental health disorders every year (“Statistics,” 2010).
If we consider the number of people who made up the American population in 2004, this constitutes approximately 57. 7 million people. There is approximately a . 9% population growth within the United States each year (“Population growth,” 2011), and fewer people are choosing to seek mental health support than every before (“Survey says,” 2010). The survey referenced above states that people would rather, “eat (28%), smoke (14%), shop (15%) or watch TV (36%) than see a therapist as a stress management technique.” According to Harvard Medical School (2010), one study done about the direct and indirect cost of 25 chronic mental and physical health issues showed that these 5 health problems ranked the highest; depression, obesity, arthritis, back/neck pain and anxiety. Addictions Substance abuse costs American taxpayers approximately 300 billion dollars a year (Gelb & Corrigan, 2008).
Of the 21 million people who have addictions, it would be cheaper to put everyone in rehabilitation programs, assuming it would work because there would be a lot of people who still would be addicted because they just can’t be.Approximately 16. 4 million people who take drugs along with nearly 15 million people who drink a lot all have full time jobs. They have to be taken care of in the workplace. Addicts hide their conditions from their employers, and sometimes hide them from themselves. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that a little over 8% of all employees take illegal drugs and just under 9% are heavy alcohol abusers.
According to a Cost of Addiction study in California, alcohol and drug treatment has a 7 to 1 return on investment.What this means is if there are 150,000 people who need treatment, at a cost of 250 million dollars, it saves the taxpayers nearly 2 billion dollars in total costs, but I think that has to be wrong (“Drug and Alcohol Rehab Costs a Fraction of the Cost of Addiction,” 2007). Depression Mental illness is another significant problem in the workforce.
It costs companies approximately 79 billion dollars each year. Sixty three billion of this is due to absenteeism. People take sick days to manage their mental health. People take more time to manage their mental health than they do with many other chronic diseases.
Mental health issues decrease productivity and can cause disciplinary action to be taken by the management. This can cause people to kick it in to high gear to get the mental issues taken care of. (“Mental health and the workplace, 2010). In some studies, nearly ninety percent of all people who seek consistent help with their mental health issue, through talk therapy, medication or other methods, get significant relief with their problems. The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that employers could save approximately 4 times the cost of treatment in gained productivity (“Mental health and the workplace”, 2010).Their studies showed that after only three weeks of treatment, struggles with work went down from “31 percent to 18 percent (“Mental health and the workplace”, 2010).
Training According to the Harvard Business Review, reducing the stigma associated with mental disorders and consequently drug addictions, can encourage people seek the help they need to be healthier employees and people. People who hold on to denial, who fear being “found out” and those that have inadequate insurance coverage are less likely to get the help they need and continue costing companies billions of dollars each year (Gelb & Corrigan, 2008).Coming up with a good training program or series o sessions may help people learn to accept guidance. Counseling A group such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help people with a range of personal problems, family matters, as well as financial and legal matters (“EAP supplies,” 2010). Using a good EAP service can even help managers work with individual employees. The training of managers is as important as the training of the employees, because the managers are the first to see the effects on productivity prior to seeing the issues to the bottom line of the business (ESI Employee Assistance Group, 2010).Conclusion It is important that we consider the breadth of the issues surrounding strong mental health in the workplace.
Mental illness and addiction issues cost businesses billions of dollars each year and looking at the short term costs associated with helping employees may no longer be an option. We may not have a legal responsibility to assist our employees with training or an employee assistance program, but it is the right things to do for the people working for our company and the company’s bottom line. References References Disorder. (n.
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).Harvard Business Review Case Studies, Articles, Books . Retrieved November 28, 2011, from http://hbr. org/product/how-managers-can-lower-mental-illness-costs-by-red/an/BH282-PDF-ENG?Ntt=cost%2520of%2520mental%2520illness%2520in%2520busine Mental Health Problems in the Workplace – Harvard Health Publications. (n. d. ).
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