More than 217 million workdays are completely or partially lost among workers age 18 to 54 in the United States due to mental disorders. This costs businesses $17 billion dollars a year, according to Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Group. In an effort to avert turnover, lost productivity, medical costs and increased absenteeism, employee assistance programs help employees struggling with personal issues through in-house counseling or off-site referrals.
While EAPs are good in theory, the hardest part of the equation is getting employees to take advantage of the programs, either because of the stigma associated with mental health issues, the discomfort of face-to-face meetings with a counselor, or the lack of awareness that services even exist. As a result, businesses are more reluctant to invest in EAPs because of uncertainty in their return on investment.
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