The Business case

Mental health conditions cost an estimated $201 billion in 2013, significantly outpacing heart disease, cancer and diabetes. At the same time, every $1 investment in mental health promotion has a $3 to $5 return on investment. There are significant economic implications of America’s currently high levels of absenteeism, presenteeism and lost productivity resulting from mental disorders. Additionally, having a mental health condition such as depression significantly increases the likelihood of developing other physical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease, resulting in even greater healthcare costs.

data-driven decision-making

1 in 5 Americans

We know that corporate leaders depend on accurate, reliable information targeted to their specific concerns. Such information must be properly vetted, objective and motivate decision-making.

Debra Lerner, MS, PhD, Director, Program on Health, Work and Productivity at Tufts Medical Center, working alongside a healthcare economist specializing in mental health, is preparing a white paper which presents the compelling, data-driven case for giving high priority to mental health and well-being in the workplace. As The One Mind Initiative at Work develops at a detailed level we will build on this work to conduct an actuarial analysis using consultants such as Milliman to develop a full financial model.

"All health issues affect work performance and productivity. While close attention is paid to physical issues, my research shows that many mental health issues remain undiagnosed and untreated, and
often when treated, that treatment is not optimal. While the human and family impact cannot be calculated, the financial costs incurred in the workplace through avoidable absenteeism, presenteeism and disability can be estimated, and they are large."

Debra Lerner, MS, PhD and Director, Program on Health, Work and Productivity at Tufts Medical Center

The High Cost of Mental Disorders: Facts for Employers

For more about the One Mind Initiative At Work
The business case
at work faqs

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Taylor, S. Working Our Lives Away. Psychology Today. 2014. ›View article

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Workplace Health Promotion, Workplace Health Strategies, Depression. ›View article

  3. Brockway, L.S. Depression at Work: Is It You or the Job? Everyday Health. 2013. ›View article

  4. Leopold RS. A Year in the Life of a Million American Workers. New York, New York: MetLife Disability Group; 2001.

  5. Stewart WF, Ricci JA, Chee E, Hahn SR, Morganstein D. Cost of lost productive work time among US workers with depression. JAMA. 2003 Jun 18;289(23):3135-3144.

  6. Campbell KP, Lanza A, Dixon R, Chattopadhyay S, Molinari N, Finch RA, editors. A Purchaser’s Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Moving Science into Coverage. Washington, DC: National Business Group on Health; 2006.

  7. Council for Disability Awareness, Long-Term Disability Claims Review, 2012

  8. World Economic Forum. 4 things leaders need to know about mental health. January 18, 2015. ›View article

  9. Milliman. Economic Impact of Integrated Medical-Behavioral Healthcare: Implications for Psychiatry. April 2014.

  10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999. ›View article

  11. U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health Myths and Facts. ›View article