It’s no secret that the pandemic negatively impacted many workers’ mental health — especially among working parents and caregivers. In fact, 52% of working parents struggle to balance their work and life, according to an analysis from the Pew Research Center. Sadly, the pressure to juggle both has disproportionately impacted working women leading around 69% of them to stay home as full-time caregivers for the upcoming year. Chronic workplace stress — often called burnout — also played a major role in the 300% increase in employees reporting poor mental health as a result of the pandemic. 75% of workers experienced burnout last year, with 40% saying their burnout was specific to the pandemic.
When your workers struggle with their mental health, so does your company. Stress in the office has led 1-in-3 workers to lose more than two hours a day of productivity. As an employer, you can help improve access to the right care and reduce the stigma associated with receiving mental healthcare. Our healthcare system cannot support the current demand. As of September 2020, the number of available licensed clinical therapists could only support about 27% of the necessary demand. Together, with employers, we can close this gap through other avenues of care. Telehealth is here to stay. Before the pandemic, about 20% of Americans had been to a telehealth appointment. That number increased to 61% by 2021, and 87% state they’ll continue using telehealth services after the pandemic has fully ended.
- Action items beyond telehealth include leveraging solutions that work for your employees.
- One size doesn’t fit all here and every generation has different needs when it comes to communication and that should never get in the way of receiving the proper treatment for their chronic physical and mental health conditions.
- Encourage year-round health. You need a solution that is optimized to encourage engagement in preventive care. For example, a mental health coaching solution will give people easier access to a resource that can help reduce fatigue and offset the need for a long-term clinical solution like therapy.
- Offer people the care (or resources) they need in the language they speak. For example, only 6% of medical providers currently speak Spanish yet 13% of the American population cites Spanish as their primary language — with millions more falling on a scale of differing proficiencies.
- Focus on your benefits package. A strong benefits offering is table stakes to attract top talent in today’s market. Benefits such as easier access to virtual care, or even simply more affordable (or free) mental health resources, help you up the ante.
The COVID-19 pandemic required organizations across the country to confront some very difficult questions about what the future state of work looks like. These questions will shape the HR and business landscape for decades. When it comes to employer-sponsored benefits, companies need to offer their people new resources to better support their long-term physical and mental health. It’s time to think outside of the proverbial box that once included free lunches, happy hours, and ping pong tables for the office. We learned many difficult lessons, but one important takeaway is that your employees need more support when it comes to living a healthier life. Catapult can assist with resources for Employee Assistance Programs, telehealth, and benefits, contact us at 866-440-0302.
MYgroup (also part of Catapult’s Benefit Package)
Gregg Hunter, LPC, M.Ed., Director of Client Development
Cell: 980-355-2826 (best number)
Founder and CEO | Organizational Health and Culture Consultant | Public Speaker | Connector