1. Depression is a top driver of health care costs to employers.  Depression represents employers' highest per capita medical spending (per-capita annual cost of depression is significantly more than that of hypertension or back problems, and comparable to that of diabetes or heart disease. People with depression also have more sick days than people suffering from other conditions).
2. If we take a snapshot of any workplace at any given point in time, at least one in five people will have a diagnosable mental health condition. The most common among these are mood disorders like depression or substance abuse disorders like alcohol abuse.
3. The majority of people who die by suicide are working aged people. While other groups’ suicide rates are holding steady or decreasing, the rates for men and women in the middle years has increased significantly over the last decade.
Here is the good news…
4. Everyone on a workplace plays a role in mental health promotion and suicide prevention. By engaging in simple preventative steps (e.g., stress management, depression screenings, etc.) anyone can help maintain their own mental health and by learning practical tactics (e.g., becoming suicide prevention gatekeepers, referring coworkers to employee assistance services, etc.) employees help promote the mental health and safety of others. 
5. A comprehensive and evidence-based approach to suicide prevention and mental health promotion exists, is cost-effective and gives employers a clear guide on what to do. By being “visible, vocal and visionary” leaders, employers can set the expectation that a culture of health and safety is a priority and that mental health promotion and suicide prevention are a critical part of that priority.
For more information: www.WorkingMinds.org
About the author:
Sally Spencer-Thomas, Psy.D., is CEO and co-founder of the Carson J Spencer Foundation, a Colorado-based nonprofit established in 2005 after the suicide of her brother. The foundation is known for “sustaining a passion for living” through innovation in suicide prevention. Working Minds, a program of the Carson J Spencer Foundation, focuses on helping workplaces build capacity to promote mental health and prevent suicide. www.CarsonJSpencer.org.
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