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Top Employers Gather to Discuss Mental Health in the Workplace

AIG, Deutsche Bank and other members of the Partnership for New York City discuss the challenges in maintaining employee mental health

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NEW YORK, June 6, 2016 – The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI-NYC Metro) and Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) co-hosted its second CEO Summit on Mental Health in the Workplace in New York City alongside the Partnership for New York City and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation’s Partnership For Workplace Mental Health. The meeting included several members of the Partnership for New York City and other top employers.

Peter Hancock, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIG, led the discussion on June 3 at Deutsche Bank’s U.S. headquarters, alongside Kathy Wylde, President of the Partnership for New York City, and Chirlane McCray, New York City’s First Lady.

Summit participants then engaged in a roundtable discussion led by Wylde and Barbara Ricci, Co-Board President of NAMI-NYC Metro, on the future of workplace mental health in light of existing and new challenges.

“Employers increasingly recognize the business case for focusing on the mental health needs of employ-ees,” stated Wylde. “Mental illness accounts for 30% of disability costs and up to $100 billion a year in lost worker productivity.”

One in five Americans live with mental illness and conditions often affect people during their prime working years. Treatment for the most common conditions is effective 80% of the time, yet only 33% of the people who need help will get it due to social stigma, fear of repercussions at work and the lack of access to quality, affordable treatment.

“Open dialogue about mental health in the workplace is necessary to reduce stigma, enhance overall health and well being, and improve productivity,” said Wendy Brennan, Executive Director, NAMI-NYC Metro. “Involving senior leaders in the conversation is essential.”

“Conversation and awareness is the first step. After that, we encourage employers to support initiatives which help employees and dependents manage mental health issues and be the best they can be,” said Laurel Pickering, President and CEO of Northeast Business Group on Health. “Leadership from the top is critical to making this happen.”

Clare Miller, Director of the APAF Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, added “leading em-ployers understand that mental health is an essential component of health and well-being and foster envi-ronments that encourage people to access quality treatment for mental health and substance use disorders.”

For more information, please contact:
Michele Allison

About The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI-NYC Metro):
NAMI-NYC is an organization that provides support, education and advocacy for individuals and families of all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds who live with mental illness. As the largest affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI-NYC works collaboratively with stakeholders in the commu-nity to educate the public, advocate for legislation, reduce stigma, and improve the mental health system. NAMI-NYC provides peer-led services throughout New York City’s five boroughs on behalf of families affected by mental illness and their loved ones – all free of charge to the public.

About Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH):
NEBGH is an employer-led coalition of healthcare leaders and other stakeholders with the mission of empowering members to drive excellence in health and achieve the highest value in healthcare delivery and the consumer experience. NEBGH currently has 170 members comprised of national and global self-insured employers based in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts; plus national health plans, major consulting organizations, regional hospital systems and other key stakeholders. For more information, visit www.nebgh.org

About the Partnership for New York City:
The Partnership for New York City represents the city’s business leaders and largest private sector em-ployers. We work with government, labor and the nonprofit sector to promote economic growth and main-tain the city’s prominence as a global center of commerce and innovation. Through the Partnership Fund for New York City, the Partnership contributes directly to projects that create jobs, improve economically distressed communities and stimulate new business creation.

About the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health:
The Partnership for Workplace Mental Health is a program of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, a subsidiary of the American Psychiatric Association. The Partnership collaborates with em-ployers to advance effective approaches to mental health and promotes the business case for quality men-tal health care. The Partnerships’ network includes more than 9,000 employers and related stakeholders. For more information see www.workplacementalhealth.org. The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, pre-vention and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at www.psychi-atry.org.