Industry Trends: Suicide, Mental Health and EAP Benefits

Industry Trends: Suicide, Mental Health and EAP Benefits

Among the reasoning that has led those to suicide—feeling isolated, financial troubles, and relationship issues—recent peaks have been attributed to social media pressures, increases in opioid use, and a disturbing increase in mood and anxiety disorders, among other reasons.

As a human resource or benefit professional, there is sensitivity to personal issues that affect the productivity and ‘presence’ of employees in your organization. Suicide and attempted suicide are painful enough, but compound the emotional aftermath with health insurance companies refusing  to pay (potentially) for certain medical bills, people can be left emotionally and financially unstable. I am certainly not saying that all or most insurance plans do not cover suicide attempts, but it is important to realize that there are policy provisions in certain plans that will not cover self-inflicted injuries. It is important to understand those provisions and addressing the stigma of mental illness and coverage.

HR managers and staff may be the closest to individuals who are giving clear signals they need help. There has been an outpouring of survivors recently who have come out and told their stories of desperation and stated that it was often a friend, co-worker, or even stranger who showed kindness and told them they matter and to stick around because things will get better. That message alone seems to have made a big impact on many that struggle with mental health issues.

National Suicide Awareness Month takes place in September with Suicide Prevention Week is set for September 9-15, 2018.  It is a great time to promote and discuss the support available to your employees, as many employers provide their employees access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which can provide life-saving help via a hotline and professional support.

If you do not have an Employee Assistance Program for employees, inquire with your Kistler Tiffany Benefits Employee Benefits Consultant or Account Executive who can provide information and affordable pricing for this supportive resource.