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Employers can curb the impact of their workers’ mental illness

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2019 | Workplace Illness

We currently live in an era in which mental health issues are gaining increased attention in the news in Pennsylvania and for good reason. Research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health shows that as many as 45 million Americans were diagnosed with some type of mental illness in 2016. Data published by the American Heart Association (AHA) shows that 75 percent of workers have mental health issues.

The AHA recently collaborated with the chief executive officers of 40 different companies earlier this year. That collaboration culminated in a report titled “Mental Health: A Workforce Crisis” that was published on March 5. These powerful company leaders came together and detailed how they can help to improve their employees’ mental health.

First, they acknowledged that many employees fail to come forward and admit that they’re struggling with mental illness and need help because they’re afraid of the stigma that will be attached to them. They note that a company’s leadership can help break down those barriers, making it easier for employees to ask for help.

They also decided collectively that it’s the responsibility of companies to train their supervisors to recognize when a worker is struggling. They note that it’s then their responsibility to make sure that they’re connected with the resources to get them the help that they need.

The panel also decided that they need to give special attention to selecting insurance plans that include a wide variety of paneled therapists or psychiatrists so that their wait times to get help aren’t months out.

All of the members on the panel agreed that they’ve found all too often that their workers focus more on their physical health than they do their mental well being. They noted that this is why they see it as their responsibility to become more proactive in helping employees identify their mental health concerns and in getting them the help they need before things spiral out of control.

Mental health conditions such as bipolar or obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety can interfere with an employee’s ability to function and complete work-related tasks. If you have proof of how debilitating and chronic your mental health condition is, then a workplace illness attorney can provide you with sound advice on whether you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.


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