In Recognition of National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, ValueOptions Partners with Employers to Address Employee Depression
NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — As October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, ValueOptions®, Inc., a health improvement company specializing in mental and emotional wellbeing and recovery, is partnering with forward-thinking employer organizations nationwide to address a major health crisis faced by 7.6 percent of the nation’s workforce: depression.
Each year, depression costs U.S. employers more than $44 billion in lost productivity–81 percent of that is due to reduced performance while at work. Beyond depression’s personal repercussions on employees and their loved ones, it can hurt a company’s bottom line:
-- A depressed worker costs an employer 27 lost workdays per year. -- Depression costs employers as much or more in terms of lost workdays as many other common medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and back problems. -- Depression is a risk factor for heart disease and cancer. Moreover, depression can contribute to patients' lower adherence to medical treatment, resulting in an increase in disability and mortality and higher health costs. -- Most people with depression are affected in their prime working years. -- Those facing depression not only struggle with debilitating symptoms, they also are challenged by negative stereotypes and prejudices resulting from the misconceptions about mental illness.
To help employers better create and maintain a healthy, help-seeking workplace culture, ValueOptions developed the Depression at Work initiative. The site offers ways to identify depression, strategies to engage employees, and even a tool to estimate how much of a business’ revenue is lost to depression each year. For more solutions to help your organization address depression, visit www.valueoptionsmarketing.com/depression/.
“Employees experiencing depression don’t just leave the disease at home when they go to work each day,” said ValueOptions’ Rich Paul, Senior Vice President, Customer and Product Strategy Officer. “That’s why it’s absolutely critical for companies to build a culture of both physical and emotional wellbeing. This month serves as a good reminder of the importance of employers hosting training programs on recognizing depression, offering mental health screenings, and encouraging employees to be aware of their employee assistance program in an effort to increase help seeking behavior. “
In addition to highlighting the economic impact of depression, ValueOptions is also addressing the personal impact of mental illness with Stamp Out Stigma, a company-wide initiative to address the stigma of mental illness as a barrier to individuals seeking treatment. For more information, and to hear the personal stories of those affected by depression and other mental health issues, visit www.stampoutstigma.com.
ValueOptions is a health improvement company that serves more than 32 million individuals. On behalf of employers, health plans and government agencies, we manage innovative programs and solutions that directly address the challenges our health care system faces today. A national leader in the fields of mental and emotional wellbeing, recovery and resilience, employee assistance, and wellness, ValueOptions helps people make the difficult life changes needed to be healthier and more productive. With offices nationwide and a network of more than 130,000 provider locations, ValueOptions helps people take important steps in the right direction. We help them live their lives to the fullest potential. Visit www.valueoptions.com for more information.
About Stamp Out Stigma
Stamp Out Stigma is an initiative spearheaded by ValueOptions® to ensure we remove stigma as a barrier to people seeking the care they need to recover. This initiative commits us all to recognize the high prevalence of mental illness and to reeducate ourselves, friends and family on the truths of mental illness. When we do this, we reduce the stigma. This campaign reminds each of us that we can help transform the dialog on mental health from a whisper to a conversation. Visit www.stampoutstigma.com for more ways to starting talking about mental health.