Initiatives that employersare using to address mental healthinclude encouraging open discussion and building ajudgment-free culture, and partnering with an outside vendor toprovide support. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The nation is experiencing a mental health crisis, including dealing withrising deaths from opioid abuse and suicide. Yet, not enoughemployers are taking steps to prevent more of these kinds of deathswithin their workforce, according to Willis Towers Watson's2019 Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey.

Indeed, just 22 percent of employers currently have or plan toimplement programs to address opioid use and suicide prevention in2019, according to the survey of more than 500 U.S. employers.Encouragingly, an additional 23 percent are considering initiativesto prevent opioid abuse in 2020 or 2021, and 15 percent areconsidering programs to prevent suicide over the same timeframe.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.