As more employees head back to work, now more than ever they may struggling with their mental health. That’s why it’s important to bring the conversations surrounding mental health into the work place so employees know what kind of help is available.
“I think a lot of employers are recognizing the need to ensure they have behavioral health benefits available to their employees. When employees are taking care of their mental health needs or their substance use needs, the employer will see improved productivity, improved attendance at work, and just overall better outcomes from from the individual and their work performance,” said Jeff Greshak, the Director of Behavioral Health at Priority Health.
Last fall, Priority Health actually put together a tool kit for employers, that includes table tents and posters that could be placed in break rooms or various places throughout an organization to help bring awareness to mental health and break the stigma surrounding it.
“When your employer is promoting behavioral health services, I think people feel more comfortable to reach out and explore what help might be available to them. In the past, there was a lot of fear about individuals seeking out services for fear of losing their job. I think employers have recognized the great benefit that can come to an individual by participating in counseling, and really them encouraging that reduces that stigma and fear for people to access care.”
What employees may not realize, is just exactly what their coverage includes. For instance, it could be a certain number of counseling sessions on a short term basis to help somebody through a crisis.
“We've come a long way, I think in the mental health field with reducing stigma. But I would say we certainly have a long way to go yet in helping people feel comfortable, recognizing that there is a need for help and that help is available. I think there are many people that don't know that they have behavioral health benefits available through their health plan and we encourage people to explore those options and seek out those services that may be beneficial to them. When an individual is healthy and well in all aspects of their life, then, you know, I think we're stronger as a community.”
Of course every provider is different in terms of services. To learn what’s available to you, call the number on the back of your insurance card.