Instant Insights / Mental Health Awareness Month

Employee mental health is becoming an important issue for employers, and one of the ways to help workers is through their employee benefits packages. Here we look at trends, build awareness, and share ideas for benefits managers and brokers.


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In mid-February in Aurora, Illinois, a 15-year employee, called into Human Resources at his employer’s facility for a termination meeting, opened fire with a handgun, killing five employees, including the human resources manager, a human resources intern and the plant manager, as well as wounding five police officers. According to its most recent statistics, the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there were 458 workplace homicides in 2017, 351 of which involved shootings.

Workplace violence can occur in many forms, including active shooters, arson, criminal or gang violence, explosives, cyberattacks, and terrorism. Aside from the devastating human trauma, it can have far-reaching costs and consequences for employers, such as government agency citations, lawsuits, insurability issues, loss of consumer confidence, service disruptions, increased labor and health care costs, and negative publicity.

Understanding the types of workplace violence as identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the FBI can assist employers with crafting a customized and comprehensive approach to the issues of prevention and preparedness.

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