The ROI of Mental Health
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, health and well-being should be the utmost priorities of employers and companies across the globe. The global health crisis has greatly taken a toll on the mental health of people as a result of lockdown measures, social distancing, and isolation.
Companies, among others, should be the first ones to ensure the well-being of their constituents. Most importantly, business leaders should focus more on the mental health of their staff, as the negative impacts of the pandemic may have caused distress, anxiety, and depression.
The Global Burden of Mental Health Issues
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. About 450 million people are currently suffering from these conditions, putting mental disorders among the leading causes of illness and disability across the globe.
The latest estimates of mental health disorder prevalence show that about 792 million people lived with a mental health disorder in 2017, which is more than one in ten people globally.
Worldwide, more than 40 percent of countries have no mental health policy and more than 33 percent of the countries allocate less than 1 percent of their health budget to mental health, with another 33 percent spending about 1 percent of their budgets on mental health.
Return on Investment (ROI) of Mental Health
Employers should invest in mental health programs to benefit not only their employees but the company as a whole. Employers and companies must take into consideration the mental health of their workforce.
Poor mental health among employees may take a toll on the finances of employers. However, there is still a lingering problem of investing in workplace mental health, with many employers lacking the knowledge of best practices to promote mental health.
Some companies do not understand the benefits of investing in the mental health of their workforce, which can promote productivity and creativity among the employees.
Workplaces that promote mental health and support people with mental disorders are more likely to have decreased levels of absenteeism, increased productivity, and better economic gains. The WHO says that for every $1 invested into scaled-up treatment for common mental disorders, there is a return of about $4 in improved health and productivity.
In Canada, companies that invested in mental health programs for workers for at least a year experienced a median annual return on investment (ROI) of $1.62 for every dollar spend. Meanwhile, companies that had similar programs, which have been running for at least three years, had an ROI of $2.18 for every dollar invested.
Prioritizing the mental health of the workforce provides benefits for both parties, with a promising ROI for companies. Investing in mental health is a win-win situation for both the company and its workers.