Mental Health Services

The Importance of Offering Mental Health Services to Your Employees 

David Woroboff

It is important for us today to be talking about mental health for our employees and how important it is to notice and take care of any signs that we might see that people need help. One in five US adults who are employed will experience a mental health issue in any given year, a shocking statistic affecting so many employees, friends, and family. Other statistics show that 24% of adults with mental illness report an unmet need for treatment and counseling. They're not getting to the right person at the right time when they are in need, and it is important to make sure that we can help them. Amazingly, 89% of job seekers rate mental health benefits highly, second only behind a 401k, as a benefit for an employee. Keeping these statistics in mind, let’s explore these issues and how they can be addressed.

 

It's unbelievable the numbers that are out there and the problems that people are having. It's very understandable, however, considering not only the workplace, but considering the world right now, and what is going on. Every direction you turn, there's another major issue. The levels of depression and anxiety are just massive! Healthcare insurance costs are driving a huge wedge between the lower and the upper-income people in the country and lower-income folks are just not getting a fair shake at getting great medical care. All people deserve to have great medical care and technology using virtual care is a way to get that medical care across to all people in the United States for a few dollars per month per household. This is unbelievable compared to what people pay when they go into a doctor's office.

 

The situation of mental illness has been an issue for a long, long time. COVID escalated this issue drastically, with the number of people experiencing anxiety and depression running at about 40 to 50%. That's a huge number. And, unfortunately, depression and things like that are not something people talk about often. That's something that's hidden inside themselves, which is a very dangerous situation until it's too late. It's very important to have access to counselors and to help when people begin to have those feelings rather than after it's too late and something bad happens to them. Nothing good can occur from this. The main cure is counseling over many, many months. There are services out there, but most services are giving people only a couple of sessions to try to help them. There's no magic here. This is not like taking a Z-pack for sickness! This is not a medical thing that you take a pill, and you get better. This takes many, many months of counseling to help you cope with the situation you're in and understand how to deal with that situation. It's very normal, I think, and everybody I know deals with some form of depression or anxiety. So, for some reason, the few sessions don't help.

 

I think also just the whole changing atmosphere of someone having to go back into the office after they have been at home and now it's a return to the office policy. They need to go in and they may be having some anxiety about making that change. First, it was the anxiety of being home and not being in the office. And then two years later it's like, “Oh my gosh, you want me to go back in, and have to deal with people every day!” So, it's constantly changing. The world is always changing. It's so important that there is a support mechanism put in place where people feel comfortable that they can call someone to talk to from the comfort of their home. Because if you make it too difficult and you want someone to come into an office that could turn a lot of people off and they just don't feel comfortable yet, at least starting the process in that way.

 

The technology is there, and the capabilities are there. And the doctors, if they're trained properly, can do a great job doing virtual care. My father always told me when I was growing up that you must make this world a better place before you leave it. I have taken this as my opportunity to try to make the world a little bit better by helping people have great medical care.

 

The solution to this problem that I offer through my company, Call A Doc, is that people are allowed to talk to counselors for as long as they need and for as many months as they need. This is the way to go about dealing responsibly with this issue, and, it has a chance to help people to have a person to speak to. In addition, a person's medical history is crucial for the counselors to know what's going on with them physically, not just the mental side. That's why our company does mental health and urgent care together. When a patient calls into our company, they will first update their medical condition, and then they are transferred to a counselor. That way the counselors have a full understanding, medically and mentally, of what's happening with that patient. It's not just a small little piece of information, that this person feels anxiety. That's not a fair way to address those kinds of issues. So, the full picture is key. People need help and companies have a responsibility to supply this care.

 

What about the financial impact? People need help and companies must take this responsibility. It must start with the companies. I've even spoken to many companies about including these services in their benefits packages. The financial impact on companies if mental health issues are not treated is huge. Depression alone is estimated to cost an employer about $8 million annually, with, let's say, 5,000 employees. So that's a huge number. That's people not showing up to work, people leaving the company, having to re-staff the company: all those impacts add up to about $8 million. In a 2021 survey, 34% of the respondents said employees left the job because of mental health reasons. You can imagine when 34% of employees leave, what would be the impact financially to the company? Considering the ROI, the return on investment, of mental health services, usually people use numbers of from four to nine to one on the investment they put into mental health for their employees compared to what they get back. That's not a bad ROI. CFOs in the company are the first ones to get it. They're the first ones that say, are you kidding me? I can get all this care for my employees? This is not a thing to even talk about here!

 

Another great benefit of this service is that people do not have to go in person, because what we find is that people are sometimes a little embarrassed or they don't feel open to really wanting to go in to see somebody when they're having issues. No one feels good when they have issues. We found that out on the urgent care side: when you're sick, who wants to go to a doctor's office when you're sick? You just want to talk to a doctor, tell them what's wrong, and get medication to feel better. And it's the same thing we're seeing on the mental health side. People want to stay at home and talk about it in private. They don't even have to be on a video call. It could be a telephone call, so there's no visible contact at all. I think allowing people to have this comfortable environment is huge, and they will have the ability to manage stress much more effectively.

 

The ability to change self-defeating behaviors and habits and most people feel these things, will dramatically impact a person’s well-being. It's difficult for some people to concentrate or be productive because of these things. These are all things that affect you. So, it's important that the care they have in person is the same as they have through telehealth. This is one of those medical areas where telehealth is very, very effective.

 

Think of yourself for a moment. Have you ever felt any of these things like difficulty concentrating, completing your work, stress or anxiety, family or relationship problems, lack of motivation, issues with alcohol or drugs, compulsive behaviors, and many more? And if you have, then guess what? This is a good reason for you to reach out and talk to a mental health counselor, and you can just do it slowly once a week, once a month, or whatever you feel comfortable with. But just the fact that you're doing it, I guarantee you're going to feel better that you have someone to give you advice on things that are bothering you inside. You are not one of the few people, you're one of the many. About 80 percent of people say that most people around you are feeling something similar. Usually just getting started is the hardest. But once you start, you are your own boss! But the companies need to provide this to their employees.

 

In recognition of the United States Staffing Association’s kind gesture of making their platform available to us, we have a special offer to USSA members. We are offering a discounted price of 50% right now because of the holidays. We're talking about $5 a month. This is for your whole home. This is not a huge cost at all for anybody who wants to get help! And we just want people to have access. It's important to have access to these services even if your employer doesn't provide them. We're here to help. We're not in business to make a lot of money just to stay afloat, but we create these companies to help people. Our mission is to be able to help you through the difficult times that you may have and to let people know that it's not so expensive to be out of reach.

 

As my father suggested, let’s make the world a better place. Let's see how we can help. Let's all work together to achieve that. This wonderful way of looking at life and what we do in life, especially right now with so many changes that are happening all over the world, and going into the holiday season, and the beginning of a new year, it's not always easy for everyone. There is a lot of added stress in the holidays for our employees, whether they're direct-hire, temp or contract, they work at home, or in the office, they may well need help coping with these stresses.

 

If you would like more information or would like to contact me, David Woroboff, please feel free to call our company at 800-600-3627, or call my cell at 319-000-2023. Just tell me where you saw me and use the word: Judy. If I hear the word: Judy, then I’ll know you're good! Seriously, we will give you direction and help you any way we can with anything medical, mental, or just to talk. I would love to sit back, get to meet you, and just say hello.

Posted in
david-woroboff

David Woroboff

CEO and founder of Call A Doc.