At this point, more Americans have experienced adverse mental health due to the pandemic than haven’t, which makes it ironic that the topic still has any sort of stigma. Statistically, poor mental health is now (sadly) the “norm,” in the sense that the majority of individuals are experiencing it, and yet, discussing it still isn’t totally normalized. Advanced Recovery Systems, a company that owns and operates addiction treatment facilities across the country, recently surveyed 2,000 American adult employees about their state of mental health, and how their workplace is (or isn’t) helping. To show you just how prevalent these struggles are right now, the survey found that 75 percent of employees report a dip in their mental health during the pandemic.
Sadly, as many as 32 million Americans do not have access to mental health resources through their employers. You may worry about some groups in particular, such as frontline workers who witness tragedy every day. On the opposite end of that spectrum are the millions of Americans who were mandated to work from home as the virus spread. And though a number of people have returned to in-office work, a good amount continue to carry on their workday from their home office (or kitchen table). While some say they prefer it, 39 percent report wanting to return to an office. And it’s no wonder: humans are made to be around other humans. That reason and others are behind the mental health issues threatening American workers. Here’s a look at how some employers are engaging their teams, and what more they can do.
Provide insurance that covers therapy
When selecting health insurance plans for their employees, companies naturally have to look at cost. If your company didn’t think about budgeting carefully, the whole place could go under, so let’s not judge them too harshly for thinking carefully about expenses when selecting health insurance plans. That being said, saving money now can cost a company big time later. One study by Deloitte found that the annual economic cost of poor mental health in the workplace (think sick days or poor productivity while at work, as well as replacing employees who quit due to a desire to prioritize their emotional wellbeing) can be tens of billions of dollars. So if there is room in the budget for the medical plan that covers mental health providers, it’s probably worth it.