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Rapid Response: Family Leaves
Aon Insights

Rapid Response: Paramedical Benefits

Are mental health concerns changing the way you think about benefits?

The Mental Health Commission of Canada reports that in 2011, mental health problems and illnesses among working adults in Canada cost employers more than $6 billion in lost productivity from absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover. In fact, about 30 percent of shortand long-term disability claims in Canada are attributable to mental health problems and illnesses. Organizations are actively seeking ways to mitigate these cost pressures by addressing stigma, increasing access to services, and investing in programs that promote both individual and organizational mental well-being.

This survey asked employers to share their current practices for paramedical psychology benefi ts and other programs that support employee mental health. Nearly all respondents (93%) off er these benefi ts to their employees and recognize the rising people and business risk that mental health represents. While few have made dramatic changes, many now isolate psychology benefi t maximums from other paramedical maximums and/or cover a widening range of practitioner types under the psychology rubric.

Mental Health – People and Business Risk

Relatively few employers consider the people and business risk of mental health “very serious” today; however, there is a clear trend towards that outcome. The reasons for the shift are unclear. Generational factors and increased levels of social and economic anxiety are often cited, but the actual dynamic is difficult to pinpoint. Regardless of the underlying reasons, employers appear to be proactively developing strategies to counteract potentially negative workplace and budget effects linked to employee mental health challenges.

Read the full report.