Mental Health Awareness: Why investing in mental health initiatives is good business

Mental Health Awareness

(WIVB) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month. News 4 is working to raise awareness about mental health and help fight the stigma surrounding mental health conditions.

Tuesday on News 4, we were joined by Dr. Celia Spacone, Coordinator of the Suicide Prevention Coalition, and Dr. George Burnett, Medical Director, Independent Health.

Dr. Spacone says the workplace is an ideal area to focus on mental health initiatives because co-workers spend so much time together and may be uniquely aware of each other’s struggles.

“From the employer’s side, keeping employees safe is a good business decision, as well as a human decision,” Dr. Spacone said. “Employees are the employer’s most valuable resource. Good mental health can improve attitude at work, attendance and productivity. Suicide is the fourth-leading cause of death among working-age adults. It’s estimated the economic impact is about $69 billion a year in lost wages and productivity.”

You can watch their full interview in the video player above.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, help is available. Erie County’s Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours a day: 716-834-3131. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24 hours a day: 1-800-273-8255. For more information, visit

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