Mind over Matter: Patient Advocacy for Mental Well-Being In Workplace Injuries






 Workplace injuries are significantly influenced by mental health, as stress, anxiety, and depression can impair focus, judgment, and reaction times, increasing the likelihood of future accidents. Mental health issues can exacerbate the recovery process, resulting in longer absences and decreased productivity. 


The significance of mental health has never been more pronounced. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 American adults experiences mental illness each year, and serious conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder affect 1 in 20 adults. Mental health challenges, including depression and anxiety, are leading causes of disability globally, costing the economy over $1 trillion in lost productivity annually.


Supporting mental health is crucial, especially when considering the link between mental and physical health, where individuals with depression face a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, and adults with mental illness also struggle with ongoing substance abuse. Some of these lasting effects on mental health from an injury may be detected early, while others may manifest much later than the injury occurrence.   


Dr. Doug Benner, our Chief Medical Officer, highlights the impact of mental health on recovery: "Addressing mental health, including past adverse experiences, is vital for achieving full recovery. Sensitive, objective inquiries can diagnose these underlying issues, making acknowledgment essential."


Prioritizing the holistic recovery of injured workers and ensuring their mental and physical health are equally addressed throughout the workers' compensation process, is critically important now, more than ever. Patient advocacy, particularly regarding the mental health crises that abound today, extends beyond typical case management. In today's high-stress environment, exacerbated by global challenges and ‘a new normal’, the workers' compensation process can become even more daunting to those affected. Our role of advocacy is to alleviate possible frustrations by acting as expert communicators and connectors.


Eunhee Kim, our CEO, emphasizes the importance of bridging the gap between emotional reactions and practical solutions: "By breaking the cycle of emotional distress, we can address the root issues and foster resolution. Our mission is to connect injured workers with the right resources, providers, and tools to help them navigate their recovery journey effectively - this includes standing in the gaps to help them process and progress."


Now more than ever, keen awareness of mental health is critical for all parties involved in patient care. Our teams undergo rigorous ongoing training, and are actively educating and supporting injured workers to help alleviate stress, empower optimal recovery, and protect the long-term health of the most important person in the process

– the injured worker.


“Our nurse case managers can help in several ways – in working with the claims professionals and providers – but more importantly, by being there to listen to our patients with the right dose of empathy as we guide them toward the most effective resources.” 

~ Eunhee Kim, CEO & Founder



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