Behavioral Health Issues Continue to Vex Employers

Businesspeople sitting and talkingWith one in five people in the U.S. dealing with a mental health situation on a daily basis,1 many employers continue to struggle with the best ways to address mental health issues in the workplace. May is Mental Health Awareness Month – a good time to take stock of behavioral health care services available to employees.


According to a recent survey by the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC), workplace mental health – including managing absenteeism and presenteeism, controlling medical costs, and supporting employees in distress – continues to be an important area of concern for companies. Major survey findings include: 2

  • 86% of employers are interested in the associated risks that mental health has on the workplace.
  • 56% of respondents include a mental health management component in their absence management program.
  • 74% of respondents provide health coverage for mental health within their medical plan compared to 13.3% that have a separate “carve-out” mental health plan.
  • 84% of respondents provide substance abuse coverage.
  • 49.5% of respondents provide disease management or case management for chronic pain conditions.
  • 46% of respondents offer disease management or case management for depression.
  • 33.5% of respondents have a disability plan that requires employees to receive treatment with an appropriate care provider for mental health disability claims.
  • 97% of respondents provide employee assistance programs (EAPs).
  • 58% of respondents feel that workplace mental health stigma has stayed the same over the last two years, 18% feel it has decreased, 15% feel it has increased, and 9% feel no stigma exists.
  • 39% of respondents feel that media attention to violence is the most important perception increasing workplace mental health stigma.

MHN can help.
MHN’s management consultants can provide professional guidance and support for managing difficult workplace situations, troubled employees and job performance issues. Our consultants have a unique background in professional counseling, human resources and business, allowing them to offer the insight, assessment, feedback, and action plans that are right for your managers and employees. MHN’s services include management consultation, Job Performance Referrals, onsite critical incident response services and Department of Transportation referrals. To learn more, please call 1-800-327-7526 or email


1National Association of Mental Illness website:
2 2016 DMEC Behavioral Health Survey, March 2017


This article is for informational and self-help purposes only. It should not be treated as a substitute for financial, medical, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice, or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified professional.


Managed Health Network, LLC (MHN) is a subsidiary of Health Net, Inc. The MHN family of companies includes Managed Health Network, MHN Services and MHN Government Services. Health Net and Managed Health Network are registered service marks of Health Net, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved.




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Gabriel Padilla