COLD SPRING, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 5, 2014) - The widening gap between mental illness and mental health treatment is reported to cost U.S. businesses billions of dollars in lost productivity each year. While lofty national estimates rarely capture the attention of individual employers or large corporations, the reality is that untreated mental illness affects every business at every employee level. To ease the emotional and bottom line burden, many employers are turning to telemedicine and telepsychiatry programs.
Depression alone can rob individual employees of nearly a month's worth of absent or unproductive workdays. Worse, little more than half of employees who suffer from depression are actually in treatment. Platforms like CloudVisit Telemedicine are helping busy professionals overcome the barriers to mental health treatment by providing a safe, private way to connect with doctors and therapists through online video appointments.
In a Mental Health America survey more than 90 percent of employees admitted to negative job performance resulting from mental health and personal issues. And yet, statistically, Americans ought to fair well when it comes to mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that more than 80 percent of depressed adults improve with appropriate treatment.
"Lack of mental health treatment isn't always about access to care," points out Daniel Gilbert, president and CEO of CloudVisit Telemedicine. "Often it's acceptance of care, particularly among higher-level professionals. CloudVisit telepsychiatry sessions are a completely private and efficient way to receive consistent, stigma-free treatment."
In a study lead by Harvard Medical School, depressed employees across 16 large corporations participated in telephone psychotherapy in lieu of in-person therapy. Researchers found significantly improved moods and job performance among the participant group. The happier psychotherapy patients worked an average of 2.6 more hours per week, representing a value of about $1,800 per employee over the course of a year.
With CloudVisit telepsychiatry sessions, mental health treatment is just like any other closed-door meeting. Executives can schedule an online video appointment, see their doctor face-to-face, and mentally reboot to better manage workplace stresses, emotional strain, and the unique aspects of their mental health. The convenience of telepsychiatry helps also helps doctors by improving patient retention and compliance, as well as practice productivity.
The same Harvard Health Publications article features compiled data on absenteeism and "presenteeism" (lost productivity) in the workforce, and the limited number of professionals receiving adequate treatment for conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2010/February/mental-health-problems-in-the-workplace.
"Telemedicine and telepsychiatry are great allies to business leaders," said Gilbert. "Whether delivered through company-sponsored telemedicine programs or private practices, CloudVisit can play an integral role in employee wellness, productivity, and retention."