If employers have the opportunity to significantly increase productivity while reducing costs by investing in their employees, would they turn a blind eye? Consider the new imperative for employers—integrating mental health in employee wellness programs.
Why? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognize mental illness as a major public health issue, and is the leading cause of both injury and disease for people around the world.
More days of work loss and work impairment are caused by mental illness than many other chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and arthritis. According to the CDC, depression is estimated to cause 200 million lost workdays each year at a cost to employers of $17 to $44 billion. In a 3-month period, people with depression miss an average of 4.8 workdays and suffer 11.5 days of reduced productivity.
By improving an organization’s commitment to mental health wellness for its employees, there are notable benefits besides increased productivity—including saving lives. Just as organizations recognize they can make an impact on reducing heart disease by encouraging exercise, they can also make an impact on reducing suicide by promoting mental health, through early identification and intervention.
One such resource, The Working Minds program, was recently launched by the CU Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center in preparation for Suicide Prevention Month. This resource is available nationally to employers, providing a forum for dialogue and critical thinking about workplace mental health challenges. Working Minds also encourages help-seeking and help-giving behaviors among employees, and also helps organizations identify the warning signs of mental illness and suicide.
This unique program is designed to be facilitated in a variety of workplace environments including large and small businesses, non-profits and healthcare organizations.
Many organizations are taking advantage of the Working Minds program. Mercer Communications, Denver Public Schools, and RK have recently integrated Working Minds into their wellness programs and are seeing immense value from implementing the training.
“We place a great importance on mental health, both internally and for what we recommend for our clients—we try to practice what we preach,” said Maddy Winslow, Project Manager at Mercer’s Denver office.
RK, a large mechanical contractor based in Colorado, is also proactive in implementing mental wellness via the Working Minds program into their company culture.
“The Working Minds training program will give our workforce more internal and external resources to support them if they are in mental distress, or are contemplating suicide,” said Russ Sullivan, manager of learning and development at RK. “Our employees are the source of our success. If we don’t help our employees during their challenging times, we will not be successful. Our investment in employees’ mental health is part of the RK Experience – our term for putting people first.”
For more information or to schedule a training, please contact Alex Yannacone, community programs manager at the CU Johnson Depression Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-724-8768.
Upcoming Working Minds Trainings
Working Minds Training
Date: September 28, 2018
Time: 12-2 p.m.
Location: Lily Marks Board Room, 13199 E. Montview Blvd, Aurora, CO 80045
Cost: Free and open to the public. RSVP to email@example.com
This 2-hour training gives participants the skills and tools to appreciate the critical need for suicide prevention while creating a forum for dialogue and critical thinking about workplace mental health challenges, and by promoting help-seeking and help-giving.
Working Minds Train the Trainer
Date: October 15, 2018
Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Johnson Depression Center, 13199 E. Montview Blvd, Suite 330, Aurora, CO 80045
Cost: $250 per person. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
This 8-hour training gives participants the tools to deliver the 2-hour Working Minds training in the community. After completing the course, trainers are able to give participants the tools to identify people at risk and respond to a crisis.