Benefits to bet on: mental-health assistance

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Wellness components that address mental health are growing in importance as more employees struggle with conditions including stress, anxiety and depression. Employers are beginning to recognize the toll mental-health concerns take on workers’ personal and professional lives.

“The business case for offering effective and affordable mental healthcare is strong,” says Michael Weiner, assist leader at EY. “Mental illness has become the No. 1 reason for disability around the globe. Compounding this is that only 30% of people with a mental illness seek treatment, despite the fact that there are effective treatments. Stigma, fear and cost continue to be significant reasons why people do not seek care.”

Employers can help employees–and find offerings that fit their budget–in a variety of ways: by including therapy coverage in their health plans; adding tools that help employees cope with stress; or even embracing “mental-health days,” which allow employees paid time off to deal with issues like burnout, depression or anxiety.

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.