Some startling statistics show just how devastating the pandemic has been on employee mental health:
- 1 in 3 Americans say they’re more likely to drink alcohol during business hours when they work at home.
- Suicides are surging in many industries and professions.
The urgency to address mental health issues is real. Lost productivity from substance abuse costs employers $25.5 billion annually. Missed days from work for mental health issues costs millions more.
With the holidays come new stresses, so the time is now to support your employees:
- Make sure your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) helps employees deal with a full range of issues including substance use/abuse, stress management, anxiety and depression, financial and legal concerns, family and parenting issues, relationship improvement, life changes, and workplace violence.
- Stress to employees that they will be supported and NOT penalized if they seek help for a mental health issue.
- Consider implementing drug testing for remote workers. This can help increase productivity, decrease absenteeism, lower workman’s compensation costs, and reduce healthcare costs.
- Recommend appropriate crisis resources to employees including: calling 911 immediately if someone is in an emergency; using the National Suicide Hotline (800-273-8255) if you are in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts; and/or texting NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free trained crisis counselor.