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Why employee counselling (EAP) programs are not the total solution!

 This is the first of two articles where we answer the question: why are employee counselling programs not the solution to reducing the cost of mental health to your business?

Let’s first start with why managing mental health in your workplace is important for your business.

Did you know that:

  • Workplace mental health concerns can cost your business thousands of dollars every year? This is because workers suffering even low mental health levels are less productive, take greater sick days and are unhappier than their co-workers – all factors which negatively impact on profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction, sick leave, and staff turnover
  • 25% of the workforce in Australia experiences mild mental health concerns, and on average, this is estimated to cost businesses $3,200 per worker? So, for a business of 100 workers, this equates to $80,000 per year on mental health costs alone. And, with more severe cases of mental health representing 8% of the Australian workforce, the cost can increase to a staggering $5,600 per worker[1]
  • For every $1 invested in mental health management, your business can achieve an ROI of up to $9?[2]

So, it makes sense to look after the mental health of your workforce, not only for the benefit of the individuals, but also for the success of your business.

Now ask yourself…how are you managing mental health in your workplace currently?

If your answer is simply “we have an Employee Assistance Program”, then you should be commended for taking this important step. But, EAP (Employee Assistance Program) alone is not the solution and you could be managing it better!

Don’t get us wrong, encouraging a worker to access EAP is important and helpful, but wouldn’t it be better if your worker didn’t need to get to this point in the first place? When you consider that EAP uptake is only about 2%, then either your workers are not getting the help they need when they need it, or by the time they do, much of the costs we talked about earlier have already been incurred.

So, proactively addressing mental health and managing concerns before they become a larger issue is the best strategy for your business. If you want to lower the cost of mental health for your business, increase your productivity levels, promote a happier workplace, and keep valuable employees, then you should be implementing additional strategies in your overall mental health program, rather than relying on EAP alone.

To find out more about these additional strategies, read our article on The Blueprint for Managing Mental Health in your Business  or contact us at 02 9957 1300 and let our team guide you through the steps on improving your business’ mental health management programs.


Reference: [1] SafeWork 2017 [2] The ROI in workplace mental health programs – Deloitte 2017

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