An EAP Isn’t Enough: How to Support Mental Health of Employees

Medically reviewed by Beth Holloway, RN, M. Ed
2021-04-09

A growing expense for employers

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 264 million people around the world have depression, which is one of the leading causes of disability. Many people with depression also have anxiety symptoms or a diagnosis of anxiety disorder. In fact, Goodpath’s sleep assessment data mirrors the global data- 79% of our respondents reported symptoms of both anxiety and depression.

People with mental health problems are employees too, of course. Employers may be paying a price - the WHO estimates the cost to the global economy is $1 trillion per year in lost productivity, including increased sick days and decreased work performance.

A unique dilemma: The coronavirus pandemic 

It's no secret that the pandemic has affected all of us in some way. At the beginning, we had to quickly adjust to new limitations, upend our routines, and adapt to a "new normal". Some of us had additional challenges, like being unable to find childcare when schools and daycares closed or income adjustments. As we're approaching one year of this pandemic, some of us have developed "pandemic fatigue," where even simple health guidance like mask-wearing and social distancing  have become hard to maintain.

Stress levels are even further heightened by changes in the work environment. Physical distancing and lack of personal contact is difficult for many. Humans are social creatures, and the intense emotions they experience from lessened contact is tangible.

All of these factors may exacerbate symptoms in those with existing mental health conditions. People without such a history may develop new onset anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems. 

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) don't always go far enough

EAPs vary by company, but they are generally designed to help employees cope with emotional and personal problems. Many offer help hotlines, phone counselors,  and community agencies.

Workers often need more support than those basic services. Because of the stigma associated with mental disorders, employers need to ensure that individuals feel they can ask for support and are provided with the necessary resources to do their job.

Investing in employees is a win for everyone

Helping your employees helps your company, too. According to the Social Market Foundation, happy employees can increase productivity by 12-20%. According to the WHO, there is a 4x return on investment in mental wellness: For every $1 spent on more comprehensive support for common emotional disorders, a company sees $4 return in improved health and productivity.

Goodpath programs include emotional and physical components for healthier employees and companies. We consider the whole person and create a plan to meet their short- and long-term needs for back pain, troubled sleep, and digestive health

Our plans include mind-body techniques that help our members lessen their anxiety and boost their moods. We offer:

Our programs can be offered as a benefit in your company - we can get your employees started in as little as two weeks from first introductions to the enrollment webinar.

Get started with a demo at goodpath.com/employer.