It’s a well-known fact that employee health is directly related to employee productivity and job satisfaction. However, as the second pandemic of mental health emerges, the mental health of employees has become a top concern for 85% of employers, according to a September 2020 survey.
Supporting data from multiple sources, including the CDC, Mental Health America, and Kaiser Family Foundation, speak to the impact COVID-19 has had on employees’ mental health.
Addressing the Challenge
As a result, many employers – both large and small according to a Mental Health America article in May 2020 – are adding more comprehensive mental healthcare assistance to their employees and their dependents.
But how and where should employers start? SAMHSA provides insights into how employers can and should introduce more behavioral health services to employees through employee assistance programs (EAPs), including screening for substance use disorders and overall well-being. For example, the SAMSHA Prescription Drug Toolkit and Fact Sheet states, “Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providers should include screening for non-medical prescription use in the assessments they provide, as prescription drug use problems can interfere with employees’ health and safety at home and at work.”
Regular screening is a critical step to early intervention. By helping employees better understand and articulate the symptoms they are experiencing, they are more likely and willing to seek the assistance they need.
Taking the First Steps
In many cases, employees are not sure if what they are experiencing is normal or not. If they have not sought behavioral assistance in the past, the stigma can be frightening, and the process can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.
With the rapid adoption of virtual healthcare and the availability of digital screeners, employers now have more options than ever to get their employees access to the care and support they need.
An Integrated Approach
Not all employees who are experiencing behavioral health issues require access to a therapist or mental health specialists. In fact, there are many alternatives, including cognitive behavioral therapy, which is defined by the American Psychological Association as, “A form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems, including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol, and drug use problems, eating disorders and severe mental illness. Numerous research studies suggest that CBT leads to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life. In many studies, CBT has been demonstrated to be as effective as, or more effective than, other forms of psychological therapy or psychiatric medications.”
nView Health delivers an integrated screening and CBT-based program that is available to employers and EAP service providers today. The digital application can be branded as the employer’s specific offering and easily downloaded by employees who may think they need assistance but do not know how to ask.
The nView Health program allows employees to privately answer 17 questions about themselves or 24 questions about their children within the screener and then seamlessly move to a series of articles, videos, and other educational materials that help them further understand their symptoms and learn new strategies. If the screener reveals more severe symptoms, employees can be directed to a clinical resource who can guide them on getting access to in-network behavioral health specialists.
A New Era of Employee Assistance
As more employers offer more advanced behavioral health support to their employees, they will start to see the enormous benefits, including:
- Reduced healthcare costs
- Increased workplace productivity
- Decreased absenteeism/disability leave (# of employees and # days)
- Improved quality of work
- Decreased risk of workplace violence/workplace injuries
- Increased job satisfaction/employee retention
- Decreased substance use, mental illness and domestic violence
If you are looking for a simple way to start offering behavioral health services to your employees, it’s time to consider nView Solutions. To learn more about nView’s program that supports employers’ goal of better supporting the mental and behavioral health of their employees, visit www.nview.com.