Untreated depression and anxiety can increase health care costs
As we enter the tenth month of the global pandemic, the socio-emotional impact of COVID-19 on businesses and families continues to take its toll. The human psyche struggles to simultaneously maintain resilience and retain hope amidst breaks in the supply chain for goods and services, business and school closures, loss of wages and homes for workers, and the daily reminder of lives lost due to this virus.
The pandemic has resulted in workers across the spectrum including C-suite executives, human resources, frontline healthcare professionals, educators, work-at-home and essential workers experiencing overwhelming emotional fatigue and social isolation. Emotional and/or pandemic fatigue is characterized by feelings of physical and mental exhaustion, stress, sadness, loss of sleep, loss of control, grief, feeling disconnected and decreased productivity. The holiday season further exacerbates these feelings.
Prolonged loneliness can amplify chronic conditions including depression, heart disease and diabetes. It is critical that employers increase their awareness of employee mental health and social connectedness. When left untreated, loneliness, depression, stress and anxiety can result in higher medical, pharmacy, disability and worker’s compensation costs.