Mental Health Awareness Month: Closing the Gaps
The impacts of the global pandemic have forced companies to pay special attention to the issues of mental health. Unfortunately, however, receiving treatment for behavioural health issues remains much too difficult, and the stigma remains.
From McKinsey, a 2018 survey co-sponsored by the National Council for Behavioral Health reported that 42 per cent of respondents cited cost and poor insurance coverage as key barriers to accessing mental healthcare, with one in four people reporting having to choose between obtaining mental health treatment and paying for necessities.
A study of more than 36,000 people found 62 per cent of people with mood disorders, 76 per cent of people with anxiety disorders, and 81 per cent of people with substance use disorders do not receive treatment due to cost, coverage, and the social stigma still associated with mental and substance use disorders.
Depression increases the risk of suicide, about 60 per cent of people who die by suicide have had a mood disorder. And so it should not surprise us to see the rate of suicide continue to climb. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the suicide rate has increased about 35 per cent between 1999 and 2018. Growing at a rate of approximately 2 per cent per year since 2006, suicide is now the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.
Closing the Mental Health Support Gaps
Using data from two national surveys run by McKinsey’s Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare in late 2020, McKinsey found that there is continued opportunity for employers to support workforce mental health by taking five actions:
- Make mental wellness a priority
- Enhance available mental health support
- Communicate available mental health support
- Create an inclusive work culture
- Measure and meet the need
Starting the Conversation
In order to help end the stigma and start the conversation, The Center for Workplace Mental Health, suggests sharing these five fast facts about mental health with your employees to start the conversation:
- 1 in 5 adults experience a mental health condition, yet less than half receive care.
- Within the global workforce, around 3 in 10 employees experience severe stress, anxiety, or depression.
- Mental health conditions are more common than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.
- People with other chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk for depression and vice versa.
- Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
WEF gathered the thoughts of 6 global employers on how to improve workplace mental health