When you think of wellness in the workplace, what comes to mind? If you didn’t think of mental health right away, you’re not alone. However, when it comes to overall wellness, mental health—which includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being—is just as important as physical health.
Mental health should be a top priority for employers because mental illness is very common among people of all ages. Over 50% of people will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lives. Additionally, 1 in 25 Americans have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness, like bipolar disorder or major depression.1 Mental illnesses may have serious and long-lasting effects and can also be very costly to the people living with the disorder, their families, and their employers.
Mental health is a significant issue on its own, but mental health disorders also have a significant impact on physical health. Mental illness increases the risk of many physical health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. In fact, nearly 72% of individuals with diagnosed depression are overweight or obese, placing them at high risk for chronic physical health conditions.2 Likewise, many chronic health conditions may increase the risk of mental illness or worsen the symptoms of existing conditions.