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How employers contribute to their workers’ poor mental health

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2017 | Workplace Illness

While many employers offer their workers sick days, many of them require their workers to produce doctor’s notes to excuse the absence. Despite the fact that the employee taking a mental health day to decompress would be best for both the employee’s overall well being and improve their productivity in the workplace, many resist taking one.

A 2015 study commissioned by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) showed that one out of every five Americans is afflicted by some type of mental illness. In 2009, the NIHM also reported that U.S. residents spent more than $147 billion in an attempt to treat mental illness. Those same disorders resulted in an estimated $467 billion in disability payments and loss wages that were paid out that same year.

The researchers note that, much like any other type of chronic condition, untreated mental illness can affect an individual’s employer. It can cause the employee to call off from work, cause healthcare costs to rise, and result in decreased productivity.

Scientists with Stanford University who carried out the General Social Survey in 2016 determined that at least 50 percent of workers polled reported feeling persistent exhaustion in their roles at work. This is an increase by as much as 18 percent from the number two years before.

Stressful conditions at work are known to play a role in causing workplace injuries and to also contribute to increased risk for certain medical ailments such as heart disease. In fact, a study published recently in the European Heart Journal highlighted how those with work weeks over 55 hours are more susceptible to irregular heartbeats than their co-workers who work well under that.

As for the Stanford researchers, they also found that those working among the lowest rung of the company’s hierarchy were most apt to experience adverse effects on their health than other workers. Among the most dangerous medical ailment that seems to plague those working in stressful environments is heart disease.

Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder or physical ones such as heart disease can be brought on or exacerbated by working high-intensity or demanding workplace. If you’re currently suffering from one of these conditions, then a Dauphin, Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney may be able to advise you of ways to recover medical expenses in your workplace illness case.

Source: Healthline, “Should companies allow mental health days?,” Shawn Radcliffe, accessed Aug. 22, 2017


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