Beyond Mental Health

New research from SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) uncovered the following:
  • 48% of U.S. workers feel mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the workday
  • 41% feel burned out from their work
  • 49% of working women feel depleted from their work, 16 percentage points higher than working men

During the COVID-19 pandemic, within our IMA People Analytics database, clients’ mental health claims surged into the top 10 conditions by cost and was one of the only diagnosis groups (along with infectious diseases) to increase during this time. And while 20% of people will experience a diagnosable mental health condition in their lives, 100% of us will go through a challenging time that affects our mental health.

May might have been Mental Health Awareness Month, but organizations have a huge opportunity (and some might argue, an obligation) to positively impact their employees’ mental wellbeing year-round.

Here are three, low-cost ways your organization can ramp up your efforts:

+ Evaluate your resources

Take inventory of all the resources, programs, and solutions you currently offer to employees. Do these solutions benefit the majority of your employees? Do these solutions provide 24/7/365, easy-to-access care? Are employees using these resources? If you can’t answer “yes” to all three questions, it may be time to examine other solutions that can make a bigger impact.

+ Communicate more

Communication is paramount to the success of any mental health campaign. If employees don’t know why and how you’re supporting them, how can we expect them to tap into your resources? Create a yearlong communication campaign that focuses on different mental health topics each month, so employees know you’re supporting and encouraging them to get the care they need, when they need it.

+ Provide more flexibility

This looks different for every company and every employee – remote work, flexible hours, no-meeting-days, compressed workweeks, job sharing, etc. If your organization can allow more flexible work options, the positive effects may be tough for the company to quantify yet priceless for your employees’ work-life-balance.


Focusing on the mental health of your employees has business implications well beyond just mental health claims costs. Employees with managed mental health conditions have lower costs for physical health conditions, better overall health management and improved productivity. Prioritizing employees’ mental health provides a return on investment by managing and lowering numerous related costs.

If you need more support, IMA’s Whole Health Practice recently developed a Mental Health Toolkit with sample communication campaigns, workplace scorecards and tips to remove stigma, tackle workplace stress/burnout/fatigue/bullying, provide caregiving support, train management and more. Talk to your IMA team to learn more!

This material is for general information only and should not be considered as a substitute for legal, medical, tax and/or actuarial advice. Contact the appropriate professional counsel for such matters. These materials are not exhaustive and are subject to possible changes in applicable laws, rules, and regulations and their interpretations.