Employers should play an active role in employee’s mental health according to new survey

Employers should play an active role in employee’s mental health according to new survey

Mental health tops the agenda at 6th annual American Heart Association CEO Roundtable where leading executives discuss important health issues on World Mental Health Day

New York — More than three in four U.S. employees (76 percent) have dealt with issues negatively affecting their mental health according to new survey results. Almost all employees (96%) agree that mental health is as important as physical health, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the American Heart Association CEO Roundtable.

Mental health tops the agenda this week as members of the Association’s CEO Roundtable gather on October 10th, World Mental Health Day, to discuss specific strategies to accelerate evidence-based workplace health programs to improve employee health and well-being and the health of their communities.

The online survey conducted by The Harris Poll also revealed that 42 percent of employees say they have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder by a healthcare professional, indicating the need for mental health services in the workplace.

Led by Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, the 43-member CEO Roundtable leadership collaborative, established in 2013, drives innovative solutions to improve employee health and engagement through evidence-based interventions. The CEO Roundtable’s goal is to improve the lives of their collective 10 million employees and family members and is part of the American Heart Association’s strategy to build powerful partnerships and develop solutions that accelerate scientific discovery, empower people and promote equitable access to optimal health.

There has been growing awareness in recent years about the fact that mental health disorders can affect anyone. Yet, social stigma and discrimination associated with mental illnesses are significant barriers to an individual’s health and may also prevent an employee from seeking help, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly 43.8 million U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“With so many of our employees managing mental health conditions, it is our obligation to provide effective intervention and prioritize treating mental health on the same level as physical health,” Gorsky said. “Our American Heart Association’s CEO Roundtable members are committed to cultivating a culture of health that inspires employee well-being and promotes resources to improve health outcomes.”

The CEO Roundtable will release the complete findings of the survey, along with mental health program summaries from member companies, in a report later this year.

“Most of America’s employees are in workplace-sponsored health care plans,” Moynihan said. “The American Heart Association’s CEO Roundtable focuses on physical and emotional wellness so we can keep improving the health benefit for our teammates and their families.”

“Like chronic diseases, mental health conditions are treatable. Employers can create supportive and healthy work environments and provide innovative resources that enhance their employee’s overall physical and mental health and general well-being,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “We hope all employers will join us to promote mental health.”

Other topics on the 2018 CEO Roundtable meeting agenda are to:

  • Evaluate the role of emerging technologies around nutrition, physical activity and mindset to improve health;
  • Discuss strategies to create healthcare value through cost transparency and establishing prudent healthcare decision-making;
  • Participate in a custom-designed segment to maximize energy, improve well-being, and fuel higher performance from Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute; and
  • Discuss the prevalence of opioid misuse, substance abuse and how they relate to mental health issues in a follow-up to the CEO Roundtable Leadership Pledge to combat the opioid epidemic.

These CEOs have joined the American Heart Association in its mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.