The health insurance policy’s main focus is on the delivery of health care. However, to meaningfully improve people’s lives, health care is not enough in many situations. One of the most common situations in which this is the case is mental illness. Nearly 51.5 million people in the US meet the diagnostic criteria for a mental illness. It can be ranging from mild to moderate to severe. Yet, despite advances in the treatment and diagnosis of these conditions and considerable progress in including mental health care in health insurance, people with mental illness have moderate illnesses such as anxiety or depression and continue to be tensely connected with work.
For workers, mental illness poses difficulty because their symptoms can interface with essential workplace skills. Workers could face trouble in team participation, interacting with co-workers and customers, and maintaining concentration. For people with severe illness bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, these symptoms can be disabling about 2 to 3% of the population. For people with moderate mental illness whose adverse effects on employment, 7 to 9% of the US population is also substantial.
People with moderate mental illness who do work may have interpersonal problems or reduced productivity at work. As a result, such people have lower earnings, accumulate less work experience, and fewer skills in their lives. These labor market consequences are particularly troubling because hand tools are there that would allow us to address them much more effectively. Of course, medical treatment alone isn’t enough, but the negative workplace consequences of illness can be reduced using a combination of policy interventions and clinical workplace.
Innovative programs are integrated by these interventions that combine workplace support and clinal care, workplace accommodations, and comprehensive benefits. Comprehensive benefits include paid leaves and health insurance coverage. For this population, together, this framework could beyond usual care and improve both workplace productivity and mental health.
Workplace interventions examined by most studies have focused on depression, which affects at least 4.7 percent of adults ages 18 and older in the US. Guideline-concordant standard treatment, including psychotherapy, other pharmacotherapies, antidepressants, can effectively improve life satisfaction and reduce symptoms and overall health for depressed workers. When depressive symptoms are relieved by treatment, work impairments reduced, and work outcome improves.
To maintain stable labor force engagement, treatment alone, however, is often not sufficient. After symptoms subside, workers may still face difficulties, and effectual functioning at work can be disrupted by incomplete recovery and residual symptoms, adherence, stigma or suboptimal treatment administration, and difficulty reestablishing good work habits. Build on these clinical treatments; specialized interventions focused on work-related outcomes by combining psycho-social treatments and medication therapy.