Wichita is only as strong as our weakest link. The number of multi-million dollar homes in the city means nothing if the number of homeless people is growing at the same rate. It is only by lifting up those around us that our city thrives. And it is difficult to do if the costs associated with chronic mental illness are not addressed.

On average, each employed person in Wichita costs their employer $7,000 each year due to unemployment. People with a chronic mental illness take 31 days off work each year, lose another 28 days to be productive, and account for 40% of all job losses. And a recent survey from Deloitte showed that 81% of C-suite executives believe that mental health is more important than career advancement, which makes many of them seek a change in their current position.

But there is good news. Research has shown that dollars invested in mental health causes a four-fold return for companies willing to participate. Adding a mental health component to your employee assistance program is great, but it only depends on the effectiveness and willingness of people to use the program. Consider quick training on mental health by hosting a lunch-and-learn, or inviting a mental health organization to present at your next staff meeting. Additionally, many non-profit donors are losing money right now, so consider contacting the organizations directly to see if there is a program that best fits your philanthropic goals.

Regardless of your participation, please remember: Everyone’s success in Wichita means everyone’s success in Wichita.

Links to health resources are to MHANational.org.





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