The business case for addressing Mental Health

On this page, you will find information to help you to understand why behavior change is the foundation for a healthy organization.

The Business Case for Addressing Mental Health at the Workplace

The Partnership for Workplace Mental Health has found that mental illness and substance use disorders annually cost employers an estimated $80 to $100 billion in indirect costs alone. 1 More days of work loss and work impairment are caused by mental illness than by other chronic health conditions, including arthritis, asthma, back pain, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

The good news is that treatment works. Take depression, for instance, a highly prevalent condition: 70-80% of people with depression improve significantly with appropriate treatment, and studies prove that treatment of depression can result in a 40-60% reduction in absenteeism and presenteeism.

Investing in a mentally healthy workforce is good for business. When employees receive effective treatment for mental illnesses, the result is lower total medical costs, increased productivity, lower absenteeism and presenteeism, and decreased disability cost.

  1. Finch, R. A. & Phillips, K. (2005). An employer’s guide to behavioral health services. Washington, DC: National Business Group on Health/Center for Prevention and Health Services.
  2. Druss, B. G., & Rosenheck. R. A. (1999). Patterns of health care costs associated with depression and substance abuse in a national sample. Psychiatric Services, 50, 214–218.
  3. Kessler, R. C., Greenberg, P. E., Mickelson, K. D., Meneades, L. M., & Wang, P. S. (2001). The effects of chronic medical conditions on work loss and work cutback. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 43(3), 218-225.s.

A Mentally Healthy Workforce It's Good for Business

Most employers know that a mentally healthy workforce is linked to lower medical costs. What employers may not know is how to get from A to B: How does a company change a mentally unhealthy workplace into a healthy workplace? The Partnership provides some insight into that question with this publication.

An Employer's Guide to Behavioral Health Services

Produced by the National Business Group on Health, this publication provides an overview of employer-sponsored behavioral health services and recommendations for evaluating, designing and implementing behavioral health services.

An Employer's Guide to Workplace Substance Abuse

Also from the National Business Group on Health, this publication provides information to help employers understand addiction, the prevalence of substance use disorders among working adults, and the costs associated with substance use disorders.

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Information for Employers
  • Impact of Alcohol Use on Your Bottom Line
  • Impact of Depression on Your Bottom Line
  • Impact of Substance Abuse on Your Bottom Line
  • The Mental Health Parity Law
  • Depression in the Workplace
  • Workplace Wellness: Why it Matters