Productivity losses cause businesses to prioritize mental health


According to the World Health Organization, businesses lose up to $44 billion annually due to depression alone, most of that from reduced work performance. Major depression, the Journal of the American Medical Association, can cost up to 8.4 hours a week in hours of work lost per employee.

This, says economics professor Dr. David Flynn at the University of North Dakota, has businesses thinking about mental illness in terms of dollars and cents. Many businesses, the professor says, are taking steps to promote the health and well being of their employees in order to avoid those costs.

Since depression can manifest as more than just a low mood - sometimes as body aches and even serious, chronic pain - it often causes an increase in sick leave and absences. The length of time before a person suffering from mental health issues seeks help is also a key factor in those costs.

Mike Dewald, a psychiatric services manager, says taht "people with physical illness, after a day or two, would get help. But sometimes people with a mental health issue will hold onto to it for months or even years before getting help."

You can read more of this report about mental illness' cost in the workplace at Prairie Business Magazine here.


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