From Stigma to Success: How Mental Health Awareness Boosts Company ROI

It’s May, which means warmer weather, chirping birds, and of course, Mental Health Awareness Month! To kick it off, we are breaking down the correlation between healthy employees and successful companies. Spoiler alert: the most successful companies are just as focused on employee mental health as they are on cutting their next big deal. For example, did you know that mental health issues account for a whopping 30-40% of short-term disability claims and 30% of long-term disability claims in Canada? That’s a lot of missed work days, which can cost companies big time. But fear not – investing in mental health programs can actually save companies money in the long run.

Breaking down workforce mental health ROI

According to a recent study, the median yearly return on investment (ROI) for mental health programs in Canadian companies is CA$1.62. That may not seem like much, but for companies that have had programs in place for three or more years, the median yearly ROI rises to CA$2.18. So, as it turns out, investing in mental health programs is not only good for employee wellbeing but also for a company’s bottom line.

Ensuring mental health supports actually work

But how can companies ensure that their mental health programs are effective? Well, it’s all about investing in proactive programs that promote positive mental health in addition to treatment. This means going beyond services and interventions for poor mental health and taking a preventative approach that equips employees with the skills and tools to effectively manage their mental wellbeing.

Additionally, companies that prioritize investments in the highest-impact areas, such as leadership training and return-to-work programs, see the highest return on mental health investments for their workforce. By implementing these programs, companies can better support their employees and boost their ROI.

It’s important to note that achieving positive ROI from mental health programs can take three or more years. But even if a company hasn’t yet achieved a positive ROI, they may still be making greater savings than the national average by reducing the cost of doing nothing, which leads to lower productivity and higher turnover rates. Plus, investing in proactive programs that promote positive mental health can help prevent mental health issues from arising in the first place.

The organizations that are doing it right

So, what does it look like to invest in employee mental health? It’s a combination of workplace programs, practices, and policies. This can include employee awareness and educational initiatives, employee and family assistance programs, psychological care benefits, and policies that promote mental health and wellbeing. By implementing these components, companies can create a workplace mental health program that supports their employees’ mental wellbeing and, ultimately, workplace productivity.

What can promoting Mental Health Awareness Month do for your organization?

  • Reduce stigma surrounding mental illness: Companies that openly discuss mental health create a more accepting and supportive environment for employees who may be struggling with mental health issues. This, in turn, can encourage individuals to seek support when they need it, which is critical to their overall wellbeing.
  • Foster a positive workplace culture: When companies prioritize employee mental health, it builds a more positive workplace culture. By providing resources and support, companies show their employees that they value their wellbeing. In turn, this can lead to increased job satisfaction, better retention rates, and higher levels of productivity.
  • Help prevent burnout: By calling attention to Mental Health Awareness Month, companies can promote the importance of self-care and stress management, ultimately decreasing the risk of burnout.
  • Improve employee engagement: Organizations that talk openly about mental health send a message to employees that their wellbeing is a priority. When employees feel supported and valued, they are more likely to be engaged in their work.
  • Attract and retain top talent: In today’s competitive job market, companies need to offer more than just a paycheck to attract and retain top talent. By emphasizing the importance of Mental Health Awareness Month, companies show that they care about their employees’ wellbeing and are committed to creating a supportive work environment. This can be a powerful message for job seekers and can help companies stand out as favorable employers.

In the end, investing in a mentally healthy workforce is essential to achieving business objectives and shareholder returns. More importantly, it’s just the right thing to do. So, let’s celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month by prioritizing mental wellbeing – for ourselves and our colleagues. After all, the benefits of putting employees mind’s first are why mental health initiatives are the next big business trend.