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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Month, a month designated to promote health and wellness in the home, at work and in the community. Attempting to keep good mental health can oftentimes be challenging especially with a change in life events or addition of stress.

Consider the following statistics:

  • Mental health disorders account for 4 of the top 10 causes of disability in established market economies across the globe
  • An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older- about 1 in 4 suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year
  • Medical illnesses and mental illnesses are strongly linked. Many individuals with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer, or low back pain, are at increased risk of mental illness and substance abuse, particularly depression.
  • Behind musculoskeletal disorders, mental illness ranks near the top of the list for lost productivity
  • Approximately 40 million American adults ages 18 to 54 – or about 18.1 percent of people in this age group- in a given year have an anxiety disorder.
  • Mental illness and substance abuse cost employers annually indirect costs an estimated $80 to $100 billion
  • More workers are absent from work because of stress and anxiety than because of physical illness or injury

This month, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself of the resources and outlets available to help guide you or your employees through tough times. Some other recommendations  include:

  • For employers. this month is a great time to evaluate your current mental health benefits and health services.
  • Employers are also encouraged to use web-based tools such as the depression and alcohol calculators to address how each is affecting your workplace
  • If you have questions, take the opportunity to reach out to¬† your health provider or mental health vendor for answers
  • Create an awareness program about mental illnesses in the workplace
  • Integrate all healthcare services (such as mental health, medical illness, pharmacy, disability

For more information, visit Mental Health America (MHA).

Sources: Partnership for Workplace Mental Health “A Mentally Health Workforce- It’s Good for Business.” The Ohio State University Medical Center Statistics Related to Mental Health Disorders

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