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Pervasive social stigma and lack of awareness of resources and their effectiveness are among the most common from keeping employees from seeking care. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Each year in the United States, approximately 44.7 million adults aged 18 or older (18.3 percent of all U.S. adults) experience a mental health condition. Of those, 10.4 million are categorized as serious. In addition to the impact on the United States, these conditions are known to produce significant risk and disability globally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the global share of disability due to mental health conditions is projected to rise to 14.7 percent in 2020, almost a 50 percent increase in share of disability from 10.5 percent in 1990, making depression the leading cause of disability worldwide.

To address these concerns, organizations and workplaces have made considerable efforts over the past decade to promote employee mental health benefits and services. Yet even when employees know where to go for help, some remain hesitant to reach out, afraid to admit or acknowledge that they are stressed, anxious or depressed. They may not recognize that what they are experiencing is a common, treatable health condition. Despite the prevalence of mental health conditions among adults, approximately two-thirds of people with symptoms matching clinical criteria for mental and substance use disorders do not receive treatment.

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