A Brochure and Project Summary
By Courtenay Culp, LCPC

The Greater Washington Coalition of Mental Health Professionals and Consumers (GWCMHPC, Inc.) and the Washington School of Psychiatry developed an eight page brochure titled, "Good Mental Health Coverage Brings Big Returns to the Workplace," to be targeted to small to mid-size employers.  Several clinical associations sponsored this effort including the Maryland Mental Health Counseling Association MdMHCA, Inc.

In the brochure, the Coalition strongly communicates the idea that mental health issues like stress, depression and substance abuse are costly to the employers through:

  • Lowered productivity
  • Conflict with co-workers
  • Absenteeism
  • Injury and compensation costs
  • Increased medical costs
  • Turnover and retraining expenses

Studies have shown when employers intervene early and/or provide adequate coverage for mental health problems and substance abuse, they reduce overall health care and/or medical costs.  According to the Group Health Association, employees receiving mental health counseling lowered the usage of medical insurance by 31%.  McDonnell Douglas discovered that absenteeism dropped by 44% for employees treated for chemical dependency.  First National Bank of Chicago saved 30% in mental health and substance abuse costs over 4 years by expanding the range of mental health services.  The Kemecott Copper Corporation found that by providing mental health counseling for employees, hospital medical and surgical costs dropped by 49%.  For every dollar spent on mental health care, the company saved $5.78.  Therefore, by purchasing mental health insurance, employers can cut costs and increase productivity through: increased time on the job, less comp claims utilization, decreased medical costs, and lower recruitment and training costs. How could an employer not purchase mental health care insurance?
The brochure also provides resources on how to design or select a good mental health benefit program.
To receive copies of this educational brochure to be distributed to your employer or membership organizations and/or to any other group you deem appropriate, contact GWCMHPC, Inc. at 301-585-5001.

Now, with this great brochure developed, a task force of GWCMHPC, Inc. and the Washington School of Psychiatry want to speak with various business Associations and groups such as the National Association of Woman Business Owners,  National Black Business Council, International Foundation for Employee Benefits, local and state Chambers of Commerce, various insurance brokers, and consultants.

If you are interested in being part of this project by assisting with making these contacts, or if you have any questions, please contact Courtenay Culp at 301-933-3617.

This article was printed in the Maryland Mental Health Counselors Association newsletter and also the Mid-Atlantic Group Psychotherapy Society newsletter, Spring 2001.

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