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More than one in five U.S. adults suf­fer from mental illness each year, ac­cording to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. An estimated four percent have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. While sometimes obvious, mental health issues often go unseen in the workplace, taking a silent toll on employees’ well-being and job performance when unaddressed. However, new solutions al­low employers to support what they can’t see.

The Challenges of Unseen Struggles

Mental health disorders frequently go un­diagnosed and untreated among U.S. adults. Of those with ADHD, less than 20 percent have re­ceived an official diagnosis, according to the So­ciety for Human Resource Management. As a re­sult, employees may be unaware of potential hur­dles to their own success. They can also struggle to communicate their needs to managers.

According to one expert, ADHD involves more than difficulty focusing. It also entails challenges with time management, task juggling, and executive function. Overall, mental health problems often represent an unseen bur­den for employees.

Data underscores the issue’s prevalence: 91 percent of employees recently surveyed don’t feel well-rested, while 78 percent tie sleep trou­bles to mental health. This points to major un­seen challenges, especially as seasonal daylight changes further impact mood and sleep quality.

The Toll of Unaddressed Struggles

Mental health disorders can significantly hinder workplace performance when unman­aged. In a recent survey of 500 employees with ADHD, 97 percent think they could accom­plish more on the job if symptoms were bet­ter controlled.

The survey also found that 95 percent of re­spondents feel limited by currently available treat­ment options. Medications have changed little in decades, and risk side effects. Recent shortages have affected 88 percent of those on ADHD drugs.

Overall, 87 percent believe ADHD has neg­atively impacted their careers through events like negative reviews, stymied promotions, or rescinded duties. One worker even switched jobs after leadership first promised accommo­dations but later used his struggles against him.

Benefits of Proactive Support

Data shows employers should address men­tal health proactively. Calmer, more produc­tive employees tend to have better focus, man­age their time better and experience less frus­tration. They also typically demonstrate great­er workplace loyalty.

A recent study linked strong sleep health to better workplace mental wellness. Experts stat­ed that sleep is an easy entry point to discuss support needs without stigma, increasingly vi­tal as more employees permanently work from home.

Lack of support for unexpected issues— like failed fertility treatments—can also pro­voke isolation and silent suffering. One lead­er even helps global workforces evacuate from emergencies abroad, noting crises can impact dispersed staff just like those in headquarters.

Tailoring Solutions to Support Success

Experts cite erasing stigma as the prime step to support mental health disorders in the workplace. Speaking openly about managing struggles can encourage workers to seek help proactively and helps fight stereotypes about conditions like ADHD.

Many also call for enhanced benefits offer­ings so employees can access evidence-based behavioral therapies and non-drug digital solu­tions. The vast majority of people with ADHD are eager for additional support and chances to perform at their peak.

Implementing new digital therapies is es­pecially prudent as tech advances. Apps that build critical cognitive skills through games are gaining traction for boosting workplace ef­fectiveness. Such tools also work around recent medication shortages.

Substantive changes to health plans and workplace culture are key to nurturing produc­tivity, according to one expert. With better as­sistance, both leadership and staff can thrive.

Employees gain back lost time otherwise wasted struggling silently with an unseen health condition. Statistics clearly demonstrate that supporting mental wellness also pays divi­dends for employers seeking to retain top talent and gain a competitive edge.

For more employee benefits resources and industry insights, contact INSURICA today.

Copyright © 2024 Smarts Publishing. This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. 

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