min read
June 5, 2021

Not investing in employee mental health is a costly mistake

Investing in effective mental health care is a good human and financial decision.\

Saving money is great — right up until “saving” becomes more costly than investing. You can “save” money by delaying the purchase of a new air conditioner, but a sky-high electric bill will dig an even bigger financial hole over time. Or, you can “save” money by not replacing old tires, but a blowout is much more costly — in more ways than one.

The same is true of an investment in employee mental health. Companies can “save” money in the short-term by not offering or expanding mental health benefits, but the long-term costs of that decision will prove far more expensive. Benefits leaders are well aware of this reality. However, measuring the financial impact of mental health programs has long been a vexing calculus.

The high cost of poor mental health

Study after study shows that when companies invest in evidence-based mental health programs, employees feel better, are more productive, miss work less often, are more satisfied at work, and have lower health care costs — all of which translate to lower costs for the business.

This data corroborates what employers know and experience: In the end, it costs significantly more not to invest in mental health benefits.

Companies pay for poor employee mental health through a variety of direct and indirect costs. For example, they pay directly when an employee is diagnosed with a mental health condition and receives psychotherapy or psychiatric drugs. They pay indirectly through a variety of “invisible” costs including decreased productivity and increased physical health care costs.

Convert the skeptics with evidence

While quantifying the cost benefit of investing in employee mental health is challenging — it is possible. In the past, barriers such as privacy concerns and poor measurement tools made it too difficult for companies to tie changes in employee mental health to meaningful financial savings, making it easy to forgo further investment. Not anymore.

Our new report, “The impact and value of mental health initiatives by industry sector,” provides benefits leaders with the evidence they need to make the business case to leadership for investment in mental health — today.

Developed by our clinical team in partnership with Dr. Michael Darden, this first-of-its-kind report quantifies the cost benefit of investing in employee mental health across industries. Whether you employ knowledge workers, service providers or industrial workers, you’ll find relevant evidence to support the hypothesis that prioritizing good workplace mental health will result in lower costs and improved company performance.

However, it is important to remember that actually improving employee mental health is the foundation upon which realizing cost savings is possible. And doing so is only achievable by implementing evidence-based mental health solutions.

Download the report to gain the evidence you need to prove that investing in mental health benefits is not only good for your people, but also your bottom line.

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