Written by: Bernie Dyme
Depression and mental health is costing the American industry a lot of money. In 2013, all costs associated with depression (medical care, lost work days, chronic health issues, etc.) range up to about $112 billion…now that is real money. Below you will find an infographic from betterdoctor.com which lays out the depression epidemic very nicely.
So what can be done to deal with this? Well, for starters, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does two things that will be very helpful:
- ACA will mandate mental health coverage for millions of Americans
- ACA requires a free depression screening under all health plans
Businesses can also use resources to assist their employees at all levels to get help. As I have said in many of my previous posts, the first step is to work on removing the stigma of mental illness. There is enough evidence of its effects and the benefits of encouraging help that warrants doing this.
Another suggestion would be to also encourage having a quality Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in place. An EAP can confidentially assist an organization in understanding the value of learning about mental health, and can also be available to give a provider and their family member’s resources for assistance. Some EAPs may cost a bit more, but they are worth it in that they can provide people with the right help and monitor to make sure that they stay on track with their help.