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The ROI of Employee Mental Health

Calculating the true ROI of a mental health benefit has been a challenge for many employers. But a growing body of research shows that a comprehensive mental health benefit can help businesses support their workers while managing costs.

The number of people looking for mental health support has skyrocketed in the past year. Almost half of American workers are coping with a mental health issue in the midst of the pandemic—an increase from pre-pandemic that could cost employers an additional $140 billion per year.

Although rates of mental health challenges are soaring, getting care remains difficult. People face a myriad of barriers to care, from a lack of available mental health care providers to long wait times, steep out-of-pocket fees, and poor care quality. This lack of mental health support creates tremendous challenges for both employees and companies.

The business impact of untreated mental illness

Mental health conditions can have far-reaching effects on employees, including higher risk of physical illness, disability, and unemployment, shorter life expectancy, lost income, damaged relationships, and lower overall life satisfaction. When employees lack access to needed mental health care, they’re less likely to work effectively and more likely to seek pricey medical care that may not address their needs. As a result, businesses tend to bear the following costs.

The proven ROI of workplace mental health

Higher medical costs and health plan spending

Mental health-related care drives up employer health plan spending through expensive claims for emergency room (ER) visits, plus additional inpatient and outpatient services. People with mental health disorders make six times as many ER visits as the general population and submit up to four times as many health care claims.

More disability claims

Mental health conditions account for more than a third of disability claims in the U.S. alone.

Lost productivity

Untreated mental illness costs an estimated $300 billion per year in lost productivity and associated costs.

Higher turnover

In 2019, 50 percent of millennial and 75 percent of Gen Z workers reported having left a job due at least in part to mental health reasons. Higher turnover costs an estimated 50 percent or more of an employee’s salary in recruiting, hiring, and training.

Leading companies are increasingly offering mental health benefits to support their employees. This is, in part, because treatment works. Over 80 percent of employees who receive mental health treatment report being more effective and satisfied at work. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the treatment efficacy for mental illness exceeds the rates for heart disease.

Treatment is also cost-effective. Not only can it transform the lives of employees and their loved ones, but research shows that a comprehensive, dedicated mental health benefit can also play a powerful role in managing costs.

Lyra Infographic - Reliable clinical improvement

Download the report to learn how Lyra lowers medical claims costs for employers.

The need to support workforce mental health is clearer than ever, and will extend long after the pandemic ends. Besides being the right thing to do for employees’ well-being, businesses that invest in comprehensive mental health solutions for their people are likely to pay less in the long run. The key ingredients of organizational success—healthier employees, greater retention and engagement, and lower costs—depend on your employees receiving the mental health support they need.


If you want help connecting with a coach or therapist, Lyra can assist you. You can get started today if Lyra is offered by your employer. Sign up now.

For employers who want to learn more about the value and impact of a mental health benefit, download our white paper or get in touch.

And check in frequently here or follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter for more insights into supporting employees’ mental health.

By The Lyra Team
8 of December 2021 - 3 min read
Mental health at work
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