Mental Health and the American Workplace
Mental illness has been described as an epidemic affecting nearly a quarter of all Americans in their lifetimes, often during their most productive working years. Managers who can design organizations that maximize mental health can minimize these risks and boost productivity. This note serves as a guide to understanding mental health in the American workplace. It provides an overview of the most prevalent mental health conditions among employees and the aspects of the work environment that can exacerbate the issues. It also looks at the costs, both to individuals and to companies, of treating or not treating mental health conditions, and outlines the legal framework, insurance plans, and managerial responses to accommodating employees who struggle with mental health issues. To engage students in a role play, the note includes a vignette featuring a struggling CEO.