Benefits

YourForce: Mental Health at the Workplace

By Mike Prokopeak

Aug. 31, 2014

The biggest health problem your workers face may very well be the one you’re talking about the least. More workers miss work because of mental illness than any other condition, according to some experts. And it’s not just employees who suffer in silence.

Bosses’ reticence and reluctance to grapple with the issue causes employers deep and lasting pain, too, adding up to nearly $100 billion per year in lost productivity.

That’s a big problem. A monumental one, as our cover story this month argues. While mental illness is not contagious, it’s a health issue that impacts every employer.

But unlike some business problems, there are things HR professionals can do to make it better. It’s a matter of workforce policy and ensuring employees have access to robust health care and support programs.

This is one instance where silence isn’t golden.

Mike Prokopeak is Workforce’s editor in chief.

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