How Employers Can Evaluate Alternative Employee Assistance Program Benefits
Steps to a Happy Partnership:
IN TODAY’S FAST-PACED world, I recognize the critical importance of mental health and the significant role that employers play in fostering the well-being of their employees. The most recent global pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues, with increased rates of anxiety, depression and stress worldwide. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders.
In a 2021 survey from the American Psychological Association, 79% of respondents reported feeling stress related to work in the month before the survey. In the United States alone, mental health issues account for $193.2 billion in lost earnings annually, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Employers who offer mental health benefits can help support employee retention rates. Why? Offering mental health services demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being, which can enhance company culture and attract top talent. This can help increase any employers’ ROI, too. Chronic workplace stress can lead to burnout, decreased productivity and increased absenteeism. Neglecting to offer options for mental health support that your employees find effective can lead to legal challenges and damage to a company’s reputation.
As the CEO of The Happy Clinic, and also known as “The Happy Therapist,” I’ve had the privilege of being on the frontlines of alternative mental health therapies, with a particular focus on plant-based cannabis and psychedelic medicines. Our approach veers away from traditional psychotropic medications and conventional Westernized methods, favoring holistic, harm-reduction strategies. While there are many options for partnerships to help improve employee mental health, I want to focus on what I know best — alternative therapies.
The Surge in Alternative Mental Health Therapies
Let’s delve into why alternative mental health therapies, such as those involving cannabis and psychedelics, are sought out. These therapies gain attention due to their perceived safety and holistic nature. They offer a promise to delve deeper into the underlying causes of mental health issues rather than just addressing surface-level symptoms.
At The Happy Clinic, we’ve seen firsthand the transformational power of these therapies. Our patients’ stories paint a vivid picture of individuals regaining control over their lives, finding balance and experiencing genuine well-being. These therapies offer a path to healing that resonates with those seeking a more profound and sustainable approach to mental health.
Why Patients Choose Alternative Therapies
As pioneers in the field, we take pride in being leaders in the realm of safe mental health therapies using cannabis and psychedelics. Our commitment extends beyond merely offering treatments; it’s about creating an environment where individuals can embark on their healing journey with confidence. We prioritize patient safety and well-being above all else, adhering to rigorous harm-reduction protocols. Alternative plant-based therapies, including cannabis and psychedelic treatments, are gaining popularity for several reasons:
1. Holistic Approach: These therapies often embrace a holistic approach to health and well-being, addressing the mind, body and spirit. Many individuals appreciate the focus on treating the root causes of health issues rather than just addressing symptoms. This approach resonates with those who seek a more comprehensive and personalized approach to their health, especially in the case of psychedelic therapies, which can lead to profound introspection and personal growth.
2. Minimization of Side Effects: Conventional medical treatments, including pharmaceutical drugs, can sometimes come with a range of side effects. Cannabis and psychedelic therapies are often perceived as gentler and less likely to cause adverse reactions when used responsibly. People may prefer these therapies to minimize potential side effects while still exploring their healing potential.
3. Personal Empowerment: Alternative plant-based therapies often empower individuals to take an active role in their health and well-being. Practices like mindfulness with psychedelics or using cannabis for pain management can provide individuals with tools and knowledge to manage their health and reduce the need for traditional medical interventions. This sense of control over one’s health can be appealing to many in an age where self-care and wellness are emphasized.
Key Considerations for Employers Seeking Mental Health Partnerships
1. Green Flags: When considering potential clinic partners, it’s essential to look for indicators that demonstrate their unwavering commitment to patient well-being. Seek out certifications, patient testimonials and a track record of success in alternative mental health therapies.
2. Billing Questions: Understanding the financial aspects of treatment is vital. Ensure that your chosen clinic can provide clarity on payment options, reimbursement processes and any potential out-of-pocket expenses for your employees.
3. Starting Point for Research: Begin your search for a clinic partner by identifying your company’s unique needs and objectives. Are you focused on reducing stress, addressing trauma or supporting addiction recovery? A clear understanding of your goals will guide your search effectively.
4. Safety First: Safety is paramount when exploring alternative therapies. Choose a clinic partner that emphasizes harm reduction strategies to minimize potential risks associated with cannabis and psychedelic therapies.
5. Legal Compliance: Given the evolving legal landscape surrounding these therapies, it’s crucial to partner with a clinic that operates within the boundaries of the law. Compliance with local regulations ensures peace of mind for both employers and employees.
7. Ongoing Support: Seek a clinic partner that offers ongoing support, including follow-up sessions and access to resources for long-term mental health maintenance. This commitment to continued well-being is essential for sustained improvements.
Expanding mental health benefits to include therapies involving cannabis and psychedelics represents a significant step in expanding how you support the mental well-being of your employees. As the CEO of The Happy Clinic, I recognize the importance of this decision. By partnering with experts, employers can tap into the transformative power of these alternative therapies while ensuring the safety and holistic care of their workforce. As the landscape of mental health continues to evolve, selecting the right clinic partner becomes a crucial factor in creating a healthier and happier workplace.