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Employees with mental distress cost employers nearly $5,000 per person a year in work days lost, as well as increased turnover and health care costs, according to research from the National Safety Council and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
Employers with workers who are experiencing mental health issues spend more than $5,500 on average in turnover costs per year per employee, and nearly $3,000 more in health care services, said the NSC in a statement Thursday.
According to Itasca, Illinois-based NSC and NORC research, employers that offer mental health services for employees see a return of $4 for every dollar invested in mental health treatment, and that companies spend more than $15,000 on average annually on each employee experiencing a mental health issue.
Employees experiencing mental distress are 3.5 times more likely to have substance abuse disorders, and more likely to have reported driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs.
NSC and NORC have created a calculator that allows employers to evaluate how the mental health of workers can impact a company’s bottom line. The calculator, based on 2015 through 2018 data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, calculates the cost of untreated mental health issues on missed days of work, turnover and health care use.
The calculator is available at no cost on NSC’s website.
An airline employee who suffered severe frostbite and necrosis in some of her fingers when plane de-icing liquid seeped into her gloves is entitled to healing pay and mental health benefits associated with her injury.