The over­all well-being of an employ­ee has nev­er been more of a pri­or­i­ty for employ­ers as it is right now. From health care to vision care to men­tal health care, the entire­ty of the employee’s health is impor­tant to the health of the organization.

Impor­tance of Men­tal Health Benefits

Men­tal health and the cost of not treat­ing its issues has far-reach­ing effects from the indi­vid­ual to the glob­al world.

  • If left untreat­ed, an employee’s poor men­tal health could lead to work relat­ed acci­dents, absen­teeism, poor work­place pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, and even work­place violence.
  • Men­tal health costs make up about 8% of the US’s total health­care spending.
  • The Nation­al Insti­tute on Men­tal Health esti­mates that major men­tal ill­ness costs the US at least $193 bil­lion per year in lost earnings.
  • Glob­al­ly, depres­sion and anx­i­ety issues cost about $1 tril­lion a year.

Types of Men­tal Health Benefits

Men­tal health ben­e­fits can look dif­fer­ent for each orga­ni­za­tion. Uni­ver­sal­ly, busi­ness­es offer some sort of Employ­ee Assis­tance Pro­gram (EAP) to its mem­bers. EAPs include ser­vices that are typ­i­cal­ly deliv­ered online or by tele­phone. Ser­vices may include alco­hol and sub­stance abuse coun­sel­ing, legal aid, and health and well­ness coun­sel­ing. These ser­vices are offered to the employ­ee free of charge and are done anonymously.

As an exten­sion of basic health care ben­e­fits, men­tal health ben­e­fits can also include one-on-one coun­sel­ing with a licensed coun­selor for a cer­tain num­ber of ses­sions.  Men­tal health ben­e­fits may also incor­po­rate well­ness pro­grams like relax­ation and med­i­ta­tion class­es, sleep tech­niques, and stress man­age­ment lessons. Check your health insur­ance ben­e­fits pack­age details as you may find men­tal health insur­ance cov­er­age includ­ed under the behav­ioral health section.

Dur­ing open enroll­ment, when employ­ers present the employ­ees with the upcom­ing year’s health insur­ance plans, the employ­ee should also ask about men­tal health­care options. Just as you assess the dif­fer­ent health­care plans and what fits best for you and your fam­i­ly, you can also assess the costs and cov­er­age of men­tal health plans. Also, find out if your com­pa­ny offers a Flex­i­ble Spend­ing Account as you can use that pre-tax mon­ey to pay for out-of-pock­et men­tal health ser­vice costs.

Now, more than ever, peo­ple are more aware of the ben­e­fits to good men­tal health and how it affects their over­all health and work per­for­mance.  Uti­lize the com­pa­ny spon­sored EAP offer­ings and inves­ti­gate the details of your health insur­ance plan to find out what men­tal health ser­vices are cov­ered. Your over­all health and well-being are impor­tant and so are you!