Physical and mental health is important for all human beings. We all know that we should invest in our physical and mental well-being, but if you are honest with yourself: Do you really invest enough into your own health?
Do you eat healthy? Do you exercise regularly? Do you sleep enough? Most people’s answer to these questions would probably be ‘no’. Organisations face the same challenges as individuals just on a different level. They need to keep several hundred or even several thousand employees healthy.
This is a big challenge, especially when you consider that approximately 450 million people around the world suffer from mental disorders. The number of people may be even higher, because a lot of people with mental health problems are not on the radar and their sufferings go unnoticed. However, the consequences of poor mental well-being are tangible.
The secret of all victory lies in the organisation of the non-obvious. – Marcus Aurelius
For instance, the average annual costs, including medical and pharmaceutical expenses, for employees with depression are approximately 4 times higher than those of a typical employee. These direct costs are only the tip of the iceberg. In the long run the indirect costs caused by absenteeism and presentism (loss of productivity) exceed the direct costs such as health insurance. Interestingly, it is not only the number of days people are absent from work due to their mental health state, but also that people come to work but don’t get their work done properly. A lot of people are afraid that others stigmatize them due to their problems and that there may be negative consequences for them if they step forward and seek for help.
The following ranking of the most costly health conditions, including direct and indirect costs, should illustrate the significance of mental health problems:
- Back and neck pain
Depression is one of the most common mental health issues and it is also number one of the most costly health conditions .This underlines that not only physical but also mental health problems carry a huge financial burden for organisations. The following numbers should also illustrate the financial impact of mental health problems:
- In 1990, 148 billion dollars were spent on mental health disorders in the United States.
- In the member states of the European Union the costs for mental health disorders was considered to be 3 to 4% of the GNP (year 2000).
- In 1998, the aggregate costs for mental health disorders were estimated at $4 billion with more than half of the costs were caused by lost productivity.
Taken together, poor mental health costs governments and organisations billions every year and little investment into employees’ mental health may help to improve their wellbeing significantly. In one of my upcoming articles I will offer a range of strategies to maintain or improve your employees’ mental health and I will also write about how individuals can improve their mental health through stress reduction and relaxation.
Why EQ Training?
A comprehensive meta-analysis of the relationship between Emotional Intelligence and health was conducted by Martins, Ramalho & Morin in 2010 where they showed that emotional intelligence is a plausible predictor of health. Ciarrochi, Deane & Anderson (2002) proved emotional intelligence as a distinct construct that is important in understanding the link between stress and mental health.
Contact Capacity Trust for Emotional Intelligence training.