• EAP & University Collaboration Addresses Employee Depression

      Sherman, Bruce; Hauge, Kim (EAPA, 2021-09)
      With growing evidence of the workforce health and productivity costs associated with depression – while recognizing that the current medical system focuses much more on physical illness – employers are expanding their efforts to address this important behavioral health priority. At Kent State University (KSU), members of the benefits team were concerned by data regarding employee mental health issues, and a review of online health risk assessment data indicated that risk for depression was significant. In fact, substantial costs were associated with depression-related treatment for employees and family members, with antidepressants one of the top 10 utilized prescription medications. Additionally, depression was cited as a recurring reason for family and medical leaves. These findings prompted KSU staff to prioritize depression-related issues by adopting a multi-year initiative beginning in 2013, which focused on improving the awareness and management of depression and related mental health conditions.