38% of employees are able to return back to work within 8 weeks if they have undergone structured counselling or therapy to deal with mental health problems, a study by the insurance firm Towergate Health and Protection reveals.
The study which was conducted by the group’s Employee Assistant Programme (EAP) – a benefit programme that assists employees with personal and work-related issues – showed that there were nearly 9,000 engagements with its EAP provider starting from February 2020 to January 2021.
Anxiety was cited as the greatest reason for employees to make contact, followed by low mood, issues relating to a partner, depression, bereavement, and work-related stress.
It was found that as a result of the assistance after eight weekly sessions, presenteeism declined and workplace distress reduced; and work engagement and life satisfaction increased.
Brett Hill, distribution director at Towergate Health and Protection, said: “During the pandemic, and beyond, keeping valued employees at work, or helping them to return to work, must be a major aim of any health and wellbeing programme.
“It is really good to be able to prove the return on investment of such programmes, specifically counselling and EAPs, and to see the positive impact they have for employees and, consequently, employers.”
He added: “While in 2020 a large volume of calls were, not surprisingly, regarding mental health issues, the figures demonstrate the much wider role of EAPs, with 21% of all calls being about legal issues, 9% about relationships, and 9% work-related.”