According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “For every US $1 put into scaled-up treatment for common mental disorders, there is a return of US $4 in improved health and productivity.” Developing programs to support mental health in the workplace should be a priority for managers, senior leaders and human resources professionals.
How employers can deploy various strategies to curb the negative impact of poor mental health at work.
Mental Health in the Workplace
Depression and anxiety cost the global economy an estimated $1 trillion per year in lost productivity, according to WHO. Organizations can’t afford to overlook this serious expense.
Data confirms the cost of poor mental health is high. The societal impact of poor mental health on the global economy is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2030. The cost burden of mental disorders in the U.S. is $200 billion per year, one-third of which ties to productivity losses from disability, unemployment, and poor work performance.
There are also numerous negative behaviors linked to individuals with poor mental health. These include smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, and subpar self-care habits. Additionally, mental health issues are commonly associated with several physical health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disorders, and musculoskeletal disorders.
Specific health conditions have been linked to specific mental health issues. For instance, 45% of patients with asthma and 27% of patients with diabetes have depression. By extension, individuals with depression are 58% more likely to develop obesity, compared with individuals without depression.