Utilization Review Accreditation Commission Unveils Accreditation for Mental Health Programs on World Mental Health Day

Utilization Review Accreditation Commission

On World Mental Health Day, the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission, an accreditation organization, announced the launch of a program designed to recognize organizations dedicated to bolstering mental health support for their employees.

The timing of this announcement coincides with World Mental Health Day, a global initiative supported by the World Health Organization. This accreditation program leverages the Mental Health at Work Index created by One Mind at Work, an international coalition striving to establish the “gold standard” for mental health and well-being in the workplace.

Shawn Griffin, M.D., President and CEO of URAC, emphasized the importance of organizations demonstrating their commitment to employee well-being as a competitive advantage.

Survey By Utilization Review Accreditation Commission

A Gallup survey cited by URAC revealed that 19% of U.S. employees consider their mental health as fair or poor, leading to a fourfold increase in missed work compared to those with better mental health, resulting in a $47.6 billion reduction in productivity.

Another survey from the American Psychological Association in 2021 found that 59% of employees experienced adverse effects from work-related stress in the past month, while 87% believed that actions taken by their employers could positively impact their mental health.

Though mental health issues still carry a degree of stigma, societal attitudes have shifted significantly in recent years. Griffin noted that conversations about mental health have become more open and that it is no longer acceptable to keep these issues hidden.

Scoring in the accreditation program will be based on four levels, reflecting progress from reactive and comprehensive approaches to diffused and integrated solutions.

Griffin emphasized that the responsibility for promoting mental health should not be limited to human resources departments but should be approached as an organizational effort.

URAC employed the Mental Health Work Index to evaluate its own mental health program, identifying areas for improvement. For instance, the evaluation revealed that while URAC had been promoting a robust mental health environment, it had overlooked the importance of providing mental health first aid training for managers.

Griffin explained, “We were putting responsibility on people but not equipping them to respond to it. That’s something that we’re addressing as an organization.”

The new accreditation program offers a promising framework for organizations to prioritize and enhance mental health support in the workplace, a crucial step in addressing the evolving landscape of mental health awareness and treatment.


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