[Content warning: This article mentions mental illness, suicide.]
1 in 5 American adults experiences mental illness. Mental health is one of the most significant and pressing issues our society faces.
The mental health space may be the most important and crucial area where contact centers can make the most impact. Whether it’s contact center technology being used to directly support people in mental health crises or it’s contact centers connecting people with resources and healthcare, the industry is poised to make a positive difference.
What is Mental Health?
As previously stated, over 20% of US adults report having a mental illness. However, every single person has mental health, and it’s vital to dedicate time and resources to nurturing and improving it.
Mental health is a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Poor mental health or mental illnesses (diagnosed disorders) can have severe impacts on physical well-being and other aspects of a person’s life.
Workplace Mental Health
If maintaining emotional and physical health isn’t enough incentive, consider the fact that ignoring mental health can be incredibly costly—up to $200 billion per year. Poor mental health negatively impacts job performance and team dynamics, so bolstering mental health should be a priority for all workplaces.
Here are some ideas for how business leaders can make a positive difference in employee mental health:
- Destigmatize the conversation around mental health by providing educational resources such as webinars, brochures, and book recommendations
- Offer and encourage paid mental health days with no questions asked
- Empower employees to collaborate with managers to find a workload that allows them to manage stress levels
- Provide health insurance plans that cover mental health services
What do Contact Centers Have to Do with Mental Health?
You might be wondering why a contact center blog is writing about mental health. One could make an argument that mental health relates to every business. However, these specific industries actually go hand-in-hand in many ways.
Mental health organizations can benefit from the technology and assistance contact centers provide. Cutting-edge contact center platforms allow nonprofits and government entities to support people on a large scale and connect more people to the resources they need.
Examples of Contact Centers in the Mental Health Space Making a Difference
Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line (CTL) is a great example of contact center technology directly helping people. CTL has thousands of trained crisis counselors who text with people who are going through crises and help them reach a cool calm and brainstorm next steps. The use of texting technology allows CTL to have a broad reach and help as many people as possible since most people have access to text messaging and can access it from anywhere. It also allows texters to open up in ways that are difficult over the phone or in-person, which gives the counselors adequate information to provide high-quality support.
National Suicide Prevention Line
The National Suicide Prevention Line consists of local- and state-funded Crisis Centers that support and empower people who call in. This life-saving service operates as a traditional contact center. Callers use the main number and are triaged to their local Crisis Center based on area code where a live agent takes their call. This free line also offers a chat option for omnichannel support.
Many of us have experienced the difficulties that come with trying to contact a government agency. A lot of mental healthcare providers are government programs or rely on the government for funding. These groups often partner with private sector contact centers to improve efficiency and save money while still providing high-quality service.
Nonprofits and Healthcare Providers Using Outsourced Solutions
Nonprofits are often short-staffed and don’t operate 24/7. Leveraging an outsourced contact center partner allows nonprofits and healthcare providers to answer inquiries efficiently and around the clock.
If you’re experiencing mental health challenges or would like to learn more, we recommend you visit these sites for more information: