Mental Health Issues Affect Job Performance

Mental health issues can impact the effectiveness of an individual at his or her job. When a person is wrapped up in their own thoughts—especially unhealthy thoughts—they can easily ignore the task at hand and focus only on what is going on mentally.

According to a study announced by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, workers who did not have symptoms of mental health problems were the more productive on the job. The good news is that treatment can help those who do suffer from mental health issues.

The study, which appeared in the September issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, suggests that those who are in treatment for psychological issues report lower levels of distress over time, indicating that the treatments are working. When treatment first started, productivity levels were low, but improved over the course of the treatment.

Estimates by researchers suggest that mental disorders cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars each year due to the decreases in productivity. The authors concluded that the results of the study suggest “addressing employee mental health increases employee productivity in the workplace [with] the potential for a positive return-on-investment from an employer’s perspective.”

Such findings could help to encourage employers to investigate the possibility of implementing screening and treatment processes within the corporation where high levels of mental health issues may exist. More research must be done into this area to determine just how prevalent this is in the U.S. workforce.

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