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There is a mental health crisis playing out in the United States today, as the number of people grappling with behavioral health issues continues to rise. Today, one in five American adults is living with a mental health condition, which has critical implications for the nation’s employers. Consider this: Mental illness is the single greatest cause of worker disability in the U.S., accounting for 62 percent of missed work days. And depression alone costs employers more than $44 billion per year in lost productivity, with more than 81 percent of that lost productivity happening while the affected employees are present in the workplace. 

Benefits advisors and their employer clients are increasingly recognizing the magnitude of the problem and working to figure out how to incorporate mental health resources as part of overall support for employees. The benefits landscape is rapidly changing, with businesses adding wellness and mental health programs to their employee assistance program (EAP) packages in order to address their employees’ full health spectrum. This “whole health” approach to care is seen as an asset, as it has been proven to reduce costs while enhancing employee performance and productivity.

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