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Recent Lifelines

Mental & Emotional Health

Mental illness can affect anyone and it is estimated that a quarter of American adults suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in any given year. Mental illness is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada for people aged 15-44. A variety of factors may contribute to mental illness, including a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors such as a reduction in work hours, dealing with a medical condition or stress at home.

Impact of Mental & Emotional Illness

Although many Americans experience mental illness, it often goes untreated. When left untreated, mental health issues can negatively impact employees’ job performance, productivity, level of engagement with work, communication with coworkers, physical capability and daily functioning. For example, depression is associated with a 20 percent reduction in a person’s ability to complete physical tasks and a 35 percent reduction in cognitive performance.

In addition to effects on job performance, mental illness can also be linked to chronic diseases, sleep problems and poor health behaviors like smoking and drinking. Finally, illness can impact overall well-being, happiness and quality of life.

Addressing Mental & Emotional Health

The first step in improving mental and emotional health is to erase the stigma associated with seeking help so people feel comfortable getting the help they need. Employers and supervisors don’t need to be therapists or counselors, but it is important they create an environment where workers feel they can come forward and get help. Employers and supervisors should also be familiar with the local or organizational resources available, such as through LIUNA health and welfare funds, and be prepared to share this information with workers to increase access to and utilization of these services.

Fund Resources & Services
  • Use the Recent Articles or All Related Articles tabs above to view Lifelines articles on this topic or browse our Mental & Emotional Health publications.
  • The Fund’s Suicide Prevention Resources page provides more information about ending stigma and getting LIUNA members and their families the resources needed to save lives.
  • Some LIUNA health and welfare funds provide various benefits and programs to address mental health and substance abuse issues. This coverage for members and their families may require pre-approval before being accessed, so contact your health and welfare fund office to learn about your coverage.
  • The Fund can assist LIUNA Locals, signatory contractors and other affiliates with locating national or local resources to address members’ mental health issues. Some health and welfare funds provide a Member Assistance Program (MAP) or Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This is generally a free benefit to members and their families to address mental health or substance abuse issues.
  • The Health Promotion Division works with LIUNA health and welfare funds to revise and update existing benefits as well as implement new benefits. For example, the LHSFNA can assist with requests for proposal needs related to selecting a MAP or EAP provider.