January 09, 2020
Employers can play an important role for employees who have mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders by providing culturally-relevant mental health benefits, employee assistance services, and culturally competent educational materials that combat stigma.
- 1 in 4 Mexican adults will suffer from a mental health disorder. Of those with mental health issues, only 1 in 5 will seek care.1
- Mental health and substance abuse are in the top 10 health issues and account for a third of total disability burden (33.5%). Depressive disorders are the most prevalent mental health issue in Mexico.2,3
- With high rates of interpersonal violence and rising stress rates, mental health issues have grown 20% from 2007 to 2017.4
- 3 out of the top 5 situations affecting employees’ quality of life have an emotional component:1
- Stress at work – 86%
- Commuting – 51%
- Personal and family emotional situations – 41%
- Mental health disorders prevalence in Mexican children and adolescents is 39.4%.5
- Mexico lacks trained mental health personnel (especially compared to most Latin American markets) to address the needs of employees and their families.6
- Mexico has the second lowest number of mental health cases being treated in Latin America.6
- Mental health services are covered by 32% of Global Institute members’ medical insurance offerings in Mexico.7 Those services are limited, and depression is not covered at all.1
- The treatment gap for children and adolescents is 86%.5
Prevalence of Treated Cases of Severe mental Disorders in the Americas
|Treated Cases Prevalence||Argentina||Brazil||Colombia||Costa Rica||Mexico||Panama||Peru||U.S.|
|Cases Per 100,000 People||-||73,757.43||808.3||449.08||242.10||162.00||777.09||2,094.21|
Mental Health Workforce Per 100,000 People in the Americas
|Mental Health Workforce||Argentina||Brazil||Colombia||Costa Rica||Mexico||Panama||Peru||U.S.|
|Other Specialized Doctors||5.83||10.71||-||113.04||0.07||0.05||1.15||-|
|Mental Health Nurses||-||34.95||-||5.70||0.22||3.45||1.02||4.28|
|Other Paid Mental Health Workers||0.37||243.03||-||-||0.25||-||16.63||78.14|
|TOTAL MENTAL HEALTH WORKFORCE||247.40||317.45||1.84||341.94||4.40||24.61||32.03||32.03|
The Mexican government implemented a new legal regulation – a Mandatory Risk Identification Survey (in Spanish) – that will require all employers to provide this survey to their employees to assess their risk of workplace stress.1,9 While currently well-being programs focus on prevention and healthy eating options, given the limited services available for mental health, and the new Mandatory Risk Identification Survey, it will be interesting to see if mental health related well-being programs will be explored.1
89% of Global Institute members offer EAP in Mexico, which is higher than the average in Mexico (27%).1,7 Companies have found that EAP utilization in Latin America is higher than other regions.1 Granted, that utilization is focused on other services not typical EAP services around mental health.1
What Employers Can Do
- Share employee and senior leader testimonials relating to their personal experiences in their own lives or those of loved ones to reduce stigma around mental health.
- Review medical insurance offerings to ensure mental health services are incorporated, including depression.
- Promote employee assistance programs and available mental health resources in the local area.
- Provide training to leaders and local HR on how to better listen to mental health issues and point employees to appropriate care.
- Incorporate mental/emotional well-being efforts in global well-being dashboards and accreditation tools.
- Keep momentum. For real impact, efforts need to last throughout the year and not just recognized on World Mental Health Day.
External Resources and Services
Please note that the Business Group does not endorse any vendors. This is for informational purposes only.
- Ayuda Para Depression (ADEP) is a web-based tool that helps detect depression and provide social support to those individuals with depression.10,11
- Mental Health Fact Sheet (in Spanish) – Mexico City Government provides facts and tips for reducing stigma around mental health.12,13
- Mental Health in the Workplace (in Spanish) – World Federation on Mental Health developed this guide to addressing mental health in the workplace (English version).15,16,17
- 1 in 4 has tip sheets in Spanish and English for various mental health issues.20
Employer Example: American Express
- Strategy: American Express embeds emotional well‐being and stigma reduction into the fabric of its culture by getting people to talk about mental health and driving people to available resources.21
- EAP: American Express uses the global EAP, ValueOptions and their international partner, Workplace Options.21
- Branding: Healthy Minds21
- Efforts in Mexico:
- #IWILLLISTEN, a global company initiative that they launched.21 People wear bracelets that identify them as someone who supports mental health at American Express.21 They take a pledge to be supportive and will learn how best to listen.21
- Cognitive-Behavioral Games Pilot Program (with Brain Resource): This program offers games based on cognitive-behavioral principles.21 The pilot will help determine if it is beneficial from a mental health perspective.21
- On-site services for mental health have been added.21
More TopicsArticles & Guides Americas Mental and Emotional Well-being
- 1 | Avilés JL, Cuevas J. Mexico Overview: Health Challenges and Opportunities. Mercer Marsh Beneficios. December 6, 2018. Accessed January 14, 2019.
- 2 | Ridgley L. Survey Results: Benefits and Well-being Benchmarking: Mexico. Business Group on Health. November 2018. https://www.businessgrouphealth.org/resources/survey-results-benefits-and-well-being-benchmarking-mexico. Accessed January 14, 2019.
- 3 | Institute Health Metrics and Evaluation. Global Burden of Disease Compare Tool. 2018. http://www.healthdata.org/Mexico. Accessed January 28, 2019.
- 4 | Institute Health Metrics and Evaluation. Mexico: Country Health Profile. 2018. http://www.healthdata.org/Mexico. Accessed January 28, 2019.
- 5 | World Health Organization. 2017 Mental Health Atlas: Mexico Country Profile. 2018. https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/profiles-2017/MEX.pdf?ua=1. Accessed February 11, 2019.
- 6 | Pan Health Organization. The Burden of Mental Disorders in the Region of the Americas. 2018. http://iris.paho.org/xmlui/handle/123456789/49578. Accessed February 11, 2019.
- 7 | Kohn R, Ali AA, Puac-Polanco V, et al. Mental health in the Americas: an overview of the treatment gap. Pan American Journal of Public Health. 2018;42:e165. http://iris.paho.org/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/49540/v42e1652018.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y. Accessed February 11, 2019.
- 8 | World Federation of Mental Health. Mental Health in the Workplace. 2017. https://wfmh.global/wp-content/uploads/2017-wmhd-report-english.pdf. Accessed January 14, 2019.
- 9 | World Federation of Mental Health. Psychological and Mental Health First Aid for All. 2016. https://wfmh.global/wp-content/uploads/2016-wmhd-report-english.pdf. Accessed January 14, 2019.
- 10 | Lattarulo C, Ford A. EAP Case Study: American Express Healthy Minds. Business Group on Health. January 29, 2019. Accessed February 15, 2019.
- 11 | Pan American Health Organization. Diabetes Overview. 2018. https://www.paho.org/hq/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6717:2012-about-diabetes&Itemid=39447&lang=en. Accessed January 28, 2019.
- 12 | World Health Organization. Diabetes Fact Sheet. October 30, 2018. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes. Accessed January 28, 2019.
- 13 | Alcantara HF. Senate Approved in General the 2014 Tax Scheme. Excelsior. October 28, 2013. https://www.excelsior.com.mx/nacional/2013/10/28/925767. Accessed February 18, 2019.
- 14 | Colchero MA, Molina M, Guerrero-López CM. After Mexico Implemented a Tax, Purchases of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Decreased and Water Increased: Difference by Place of Residence, Household Composition, and Income Level. The Journal of Nutrition. 2017; 147 (8): 1552-1557. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/147/8/1552/4669734. Accessed February 18, 2019.
- 15 | Schinkel CG. Healthy Living at American Express Mexico: A Journey from Global to Local and Vice Versa. Business Group on Health. March 1, 2018. Accessed January 28, 2019.
- 16 | Beaubien J. In Diabetes Fight, Lifestyle Changes Prove Hard to Come by in Mexico. NPR. April 7, 2017. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/04/07/522596080/in-diabetes-fight-lifestyle-changes-prove-hard-to-come-by-in-Mexico. Accessed February 19, 2019.
- 17 | World Health Organization. Global Health Observatory Data Repository. September 28, 2017. http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.BMI25C?lang=en. Accessed February 19, 2019.
- 18 | Beaubien J. How Diabetes Got to Be the No. 1 Killer in Mexico. NPR. April 5, 2017. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/04/05/522038318/how-diabetes-got-to-be-the-no-1-killer-in-Mexico. Accessed February 19, 2019.