Mental Health Challenges in the Workplace


October 30, 2017


Dr. Susan Strauss

  1:00 PM ET | 12:00 PM CT | 10:00 AM PT | 60 Minutes

This program has been approved for 1.0 PDCs toward SHRM certification hours.
The program is pre-approved for 1 credit hour under HRCI


Reasonable accommodation of mental health issues at work makes good business sense.

Mental health problems affect many employees- a fact that is usually overlooked because these disorders tend to be hidden at work. Every year 1 in 5 adults is stricken with a mental illness (National Institute of Mental health), making mental illness an everyday reality for many of your employees.  Yet, only 1 in 3 people seek help with their illness.

The ADA, HIPPA, FMLA and most states’ human/civil rights department dictate how employers deal with employees’ with mental health problems.  Privacy laws create challenges for employers to determine how serious a situation is and whether an employee poses a danger (though those with a mental illness pose no more risk of violence than those without a mental illness).

Why You Should Attend:

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and Family and The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), all affect how cities deal with employees who are struggling with their mental health.

In 2016, the EEOC resolved 5000 disability based claims dealing with mental health conditions costing employers approximately $20 million.  With the increase in claims came an EEOC newly released Guidance on Mental Health Discrimination which is addressed to employees informing them of their employment rights under the ADA.

The most common psychological disorders include major depression and dysthymia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia and an array of personality disorders.  Those individuals with depressions have 2.5 times the risk of on the job injury.  Workplace depression results in 200 million lost days annually.  The disease is common, debilitating, and the number one cause of disability worldwide.  Employers lose an estimated $52 billion annually in loss of productivity and insurance payments.

Workplaces can and should play a significant role in minimizing their employees’ mental health risks. Employee stress levels continue to rise as more and more employees spend more and more hours at work without an increase in pay or benefits. Burnout and depression, particularly to millennials and millennial women are reported more than any other generation.

Learning Objectives:

  • To differentiate mental health from mental illness
  • To discuss the most frequent mental health conditions with emphasis on depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
  • To identify the demographic groups most at risk for mental health issues
  • To examine the myths of mental illness
  • To differentiate between personality traits and personality disorders
  • To list signs of possible mental health issues
  • To explore the costs of mental illness to U.S. businesses
  • To outline U.S. mental illness statistics
  • To define “current”, “past”, and “perceived” disabilities
  • To explain mental illness as an ADA protected disability
  • To describe the interactive process required by the ADA
  • To explore  accommodations required by the ADA
  • To examine the role of the workplace to create a healthy environment
  • To combat negative stigma of mental illness in the workplace
  • To generate a workplace culture of well-being

Who Should Attend:

  • Human Resources Professional
  • Administrators
  • Counselors
  • Disabilities/Accessibility Services Staff
  • Behavioral Intervention Team
  • C-level Executives
  • Anyone in management at all levels