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  • Writer's pictureMichael Fox

The Power of Supporting Employee Mental Health (And, A Tool To Help)

If employers don't provide the necessary mental health support, workers are simply moving on to other jobs. Here's how to help your employees and your business.

Protecting and supporting the mental health of employees is essential to the future of business.

As the world enters the third year of the pandemic, very little is what we would consider “normal” about the way we live and work. One of the biggest takeaways from the last three years is that employers must recognize that their workforce needs assistance as they deal with stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, and other serious challenges.

Globally, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety at a cost of US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity. (World Health Organization)

People are reflecting now more than ever on what matters in life and if their employer does not provide the necessary support system, workers are simply moving on to other jobs. Organizations across all industries must understand that this shift in employee mindset is here to stay and they must either adapt and say goodbye to the status quo or they will find themselves constantly trying to replace their staff.

The Impact of Mental Health In The Office

Poor mental health and stress can negatively affect an employee in several ways. Some of the most common is decreased performance and productivity, engagement at work, communication, and a reduction in daily functioning and physical capability. Mental illnesses such as depression are even associated with higher rates of disability and unemployment.

According to the 2022 State of Workforce Mental Health report, there are 7 key insights that have been discovered:

  1. The employee mental health crisis is getting worse.

  2. Most employers are starting to prioritize workforce mental health.

  3. Employers can break down barriers to care.

  4. Employers overestimate their benefits’ ability to effectively address workers’ mental health challenges.

  5. For employees, comprehensive mental health benefits are fast becoming a requirement—not a perk.

  6. Working caregivers bear a heavier mental health burden— and need more support.

  7. Workforce mental health requires an open, supportive culture.

Another survey found that the most common resources that employees wanted were a more open and accepting culture, clearer information about where to go, or whom to ask for support, and training.

While countries like Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom have made significant strides toward awareness and support for mental health in the workplace, the U.S. is only just beginning. With that in mind, there is limited research on the stigma and prevalence of mental health challenges in the workplace setting. Frequency is often measured either through diagnoseable conditions or general stress levels, which does not fully capture the extent of the mental health experience.

Employees’ mental health is at an all-time low, data suggest. Nearly a third (31%) of workers surveyed said their mental health has declined over the past year—up from 24 percent at the end of 2020. (Current State of Workforce Mental Health Report)

A Powerful New Tool For Employees AND Employers

So, what can businesses and managers do to help their employees take care of their mental health today? And, just as importantly, how can they do it in a way that is affordable?

After seeing the gap in the market and the need for our clients, the K2 Advisors Group created TotalHealth360™. It is a standalone EAP and Wellness plan that guarantees savings through payroll deductions and wellness incentives built into the ACA. In addition to the savings for the business, TotalHealth360™ offers easy-to-access mental health programs for employees while increasing their paycheck.

Why is this significant?

Because by offering real support for mental health needs, employees are going to have more money in their pockets AND employers will reduce their operating expenses. The net result is roughly $374/year/employee and $672/year/family of guaranteed annual payroll tax savings while employees will experience an additional $150/month of increased take-home pay.

The net result is roughly $374/year/employee and $672/year/family of guaranteed annual payroll tax savings while employees will experience an additional $150/month of increased take-home pay.

  • The tax strategy for this program is endorsed by the two largest payroll companies in the country.

  • Savings begin the first payroll cycle after the effective date with no overhead to get started. Additionally, there is no interruption to any existing benefits and no added administrative work.

  • Employees can access 200+ digital health services (including unlimited telehealth and mental health sessions).

  • Clients attribute the TotalHealth360 program to attracting and retaining employees, lowering health plan claims, and improving absenteeism.

There is no denying that companies need to take action and provide the assistance that their employees need. Let’s not cause any additional overhead and let’s put more money back into someone’s paycheck. The solutions exist, and it is never the wrong time to talk about how to help people.

I know it might sound too good to be true. We actually hear that a lot. But, we help businesses do it every day. We can help your business, too.

If you would like to support your employees' mental health and save money, give us a call today at 866-522-3847 and let us help.

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