When you're depressed or suffer from a mental disorder, showing up to work can seem exhausting and impossible. According to studies, over 44% of those receiving federal disability payments have a serious mental illness that inhibits their ability to show up to work or find employment.
Nearly one of two Americans will face depression or some form of anxiety throughout their lifetime and out of those Americans, 1 in 17 will suffer from a severe mental illness. These are a group of people silently suffering; they are people who attempt to work and contribute to society, all the while toiling away in a system that is affected by mental illness far more than the average person realizes.
Mental Illness sends over 5.5 million people to the Emergency Room each year for things such as panic attacks and self-induced injuries. Seeing as that accounts for only 4% of people who visit the ER each year, consider that the average ambulance ride costs upwards of $2,000 and how that price tag dissuades others who may need to seek out medical care but cannot afford it.
In a study conducted by Thomas R. Insel, M.D., the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health in American Journal of Psychiatry, the M.D discovered a significant decrease in earnings of those with a severe mental illness. The study tracked for 12 months people with a severe mental illness and people without. Of those 5000 individuals studied, Insel discovered a staggering $16,306 difference in pay between persons with serious mental illness and those without.
Depending on who is conducting the study, reports show that, annually, mental illness costs the United States north of 40 billion dollars in sick days and loss of productivity, not counting medical and therapy expenses.
56 % of people who suffer from bipolar disorder also rely on illicit drugs in order to cope. Considering other medical complications that could come from this, the country spends millions each year on combating illicit drug use/ sales.
In order to combat this, employers should opt to give their employees easy access to mental health care, seeing as 80% of mental illness can be effectively combated and treated when properly diagnosed.