The world has radically changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. A 2021 survey in The Lancet concluded that the pandemic contributed to an additional 53 million cases of major depressive disorder and 76 million cases of anxiety disorder worldwide—increases of 28% and 26%, respectively. This extends to the workplace: A 2021 Society for Human Resource Management survey found that more than 40% of employees report feeling burned out at work.

This comes with both human and financial costs. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$1 trillion annually in lost productivity.

One upside to all of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic is that it has exposed the need for mental health benefits, awareness, education and resources in the workplace.

Research shows that expanding mental health benefits is not only the right thing to do—it’s also smart business. According to the Center for Workplace Mental Health, effective treatment for employees with mental illnesses equals lower medical costs, increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and decreased disability costs. According to the WHO, every dollar invested in treatment for common mental health disorders returns $4 in productivity.

Bottom line: It pays to invest in mental wellness.

mental health benefits

This article appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of Insigniam Quarterly with the headline “Numbers: Presence of Mind.” To begin receiving IQ, go here.

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