“All health comes from one organ in the human body – the brain,” says James Hudziak, M.D., Chief of Child Psychiatry and Director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families at UVM College of Medicine and Medical Center.
Dr. Hudziak says why we drink, exercise, eat well, smoke cigarettes, and how we treat others all comes from the brain. A functioning brain helps us avoid diabetes, hypertension, obesity, substance use and abuse, and behavioral health issues. A stressed brain puts us at risk for all those things.
But, behavioral health isn’t the centerpiece of employee healthcare. We believe it should be.
Mental health in the workplace
“It’s an illusion to say that some people have mental illness and others don’t. The truth is, we’re all in a position where we’re a little bit sad, anxious, inattentive, naughty, or quirky. All of us at one point or another have experienced behavioral health issues,” says Hudziak.
Employers are taking notice. According to Willis Towers Watson’s September 2018 survey, employers are prioritizing mental and behavioral health investments. “39 percent of employers offer initiatives to support chronic behavioral health conditions, and 26 percent are considering these initiatives for 2020.”
One such employer is CHG Healthcare. They’ve been named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for nine years in a row, and rose to the top three the same year they opened their onsite health center. When three out of five health center visits were behavioral health-related, they decided they needed to add onsite behavioral health services.
Anne Hopkins, HR benefits manager at CHG Healthcare, shares how her mother’s terminal pancreatic cancer diagnosis influenced her approach to supportive benefits planning.
“Our onsite behavioral health providers build crucial relationships with our people and provide an immediate resource when our people need it most. The response has been so strong with our employee population,” says Anne Hopkins, senior manager of benefits and wellness at CHG Healthcare.
Sheetz, a privately held convenience store chain, saw the need for integrating mental health services into their healthcare plan after costs for mental healthcare continued to increase.
“Three of our top 25 prescriptions relate to behavioral health. It was clear that this needed our attention and that our traditional telephonic EAP solution was underutilized,” says Bill Young, director of total rewards, talent acquisition and risk management at Sheetz.
To learn how Sheetz incorporated behavioral health services into their onsite health center, read our earlier blog “It’s time to make mental health in the workplace actionable.”
Supporting workforce mental health
Making behavioral healthcare easy, accessible, and affordable is essential to tearing down the barriers to care. Worksite mental healthcare is a valued employee benefit that acknowledges our brain is constantly under construction. Your workforce needs help building healthy brains, healthy habits, and healthy lives. Worksite mental healthcare can get them there.
To learn more about how behavioral health impacts your workplace, and what you can do to improve it, download our E-Book: Hiding in Plain Sight: The Behavioral Health Opportunity