Job burnout among U.S. employees has reached crisis proportions. A 2018 Gallup study indicated that 23 percent of employees reported feeling burned out at work “very often” or “always.” An additional 44 percent shared that they felt burned out “sometimes.” That means a full two-thirds of workers are experiencing burnout at work.
The impacts of burnout
The trickle-down effects of burnout are a major cause for concern. Absenteeism, low morale and job-hopping are common among employees suffering from burnout – and that’s just the beginning. Chronic stress erodes people’s mental and emotional health, negatively affects workplace and personal relationships, disrupts sleep, and steals away joy and wellbeing.
From a physiological perspective, the issue is even more pressing. Burnout is linked to coronary heart disease, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, alcoholism, substance abuse and even death. Gallup reports that burnout accounts for a staggering $125 billion to $190 billion in healthcare spending each year. Clearly, employers must put a stake in the ground and mitigate the causes and effects of burnout at work. But how?
The promise of behavioral healthcare
Behavioral healthcare is a proven method for helping people deal with burnout. Indeed, the Center for Workplace Mental Health reports that a full 80 percent of employees who received treatment reported improved workplace productivity and satisfaction. A good therapist can help clients manage stress, make any necessary lifestyle changes, create balance, restore relationships, and even ask for the support they need to be successful at work without putting their emotional and physical health on the line.
Unfortunately for employers, adding behavioral health benefits to the company health plan simply isn’t enough. While the intention to offer mental healthcare is a good one, the barriers to care are prohibitive for far too many employees.
In many cases, people may have to wait weeks or even months or drive a considerable distance to see a therapist. To make matters worse, insurance networks are so narrow that many therapists are not covered by the health plan, meaning employees have to pay out of pocket for therapy. It’s yet another stressor for people who are already facing considerable workplace stress.
Enter telebehavioral health
Companies can overcome all of these hurdles by offering behavioral healthcare through a virtual platform. A large body of research shows that telebehavioral health achieves outcomes that are just as good as in-person care. In other words, therapy over the phone or video is as effective as sitting down in a therapist’s office.
With MeMD, clients can request a therapy session with a state-licensed and credentialed therapist in as few as 48 hours. This is an important advantage, especially for someone whose stress has reached a crisis level and who can’t afford to wait. Moreover, with virtual therapy, people living in areas with a shortage of providers don’t have to drive long distances to get the care they need.
While burnout will likely remain an issue for companies across the country, MeMD’s telebehavioral health solutions can help employers build healthy, happy, productive workforces. Robust mental healthcare is good for employees – and it’s good for the bottom line.