With estimates showing that one in five Americans suffer from a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety, it’s no wonder that more employers are expanding their traditional wellness programs to include an increased emphasis on behavioral health. This trend may seem surprising since traditional Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) have existed for decades, however research conducted by the National Behavior Consortium shows that a very small percentage of employees have taken advantage of EAPs in recent years.
Since healthy and happy employees typically spend less on healthcare services and are more productive in the workplace, it makes sense that larger employers are taking a far more holistic approach to employee well-being. Some are utilizing telephonic EAPs while others are bringing behavioral health resources on-site, so that a therapist can be accessed on a “walk-in” basis. Experts say that the advantages can go well beyond convenience, contributing to a more caring culture.
Some also say that services can be tweaked to resemble more of a “life coaching” resource, designed to help members enjoy more rewarding professional and personal lives. Wellness programs have always demonstrated the employer’s concern for the health and well-being of their workers. Greater attention to behavioral health can take that concern to an even higher level.