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Employee Mental Health Becomes Big Issue for Employers - One-Third of America Exhibiting Anxiety or Depression

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Mental Health Support Becomes a Top Concern for Employers

This week the Washington Post came out a Census Bureau survey that showed one-third of Americans were exhibiting signs of clinical anxiety or depression. The article went on to state it was "Not Normal for this Many Americans to Be Depressed"

With last week being the arrival of Mental Health Awareness Week, it could hardly have been timed any better as employees continue to suffer the adverse mental health effects of spending months primarily trapped within the confines of their own homes.

As the number of U.S. COVID-19 deaths reach the grim milestone of over one hundred thousand, the relationship between mental health and COVID-19 has become an increasing focus for employers worried about the wellbeing of their remote employees. Recent data has shown some worrying trends are occurring amongst those forced to stay at home in isolation.  

The Effect COVID-19 is Having on Employees

Of utmost concern to employers is their employees' mental wellbeing, which has been under immense strain during these unprecedented times. Across the board, there have been reports of increasing levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness, which is more than understandable given the circumstances.

According to the anonymous professional networking company Blind, 56% of employees said that they had experienced increased anxiety due to working from home and social distancing. Furthermore, 53% said they had experienced increased loneliness, and the same percentage admitted to drops in productivity.

What renders these figures so troublesome is that so few employees are seeking out the medical attention they need. Using anxiety as an example, only 36.9% of those that suffer from an anxiety disorder receive treatment for their condition, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. It's feared that percentage has risen dramatically, with so many employees struggling to gain access to their primary care provider.

 How Employers Are Responding to the Employee Mental Health Crisis  

Fortunately, many employers have been dynamic in their response to growing concerns surrounding mental health and COVID-19. Many have reacted by providing telehealth services and behavioral health services through their Employee Assistance Program (EAP) infrastructure to provide the help their employees seek.

For some companies, that process has involved creating and implementing specific employer-provided mental health plans. In contrast, other employers have actively encouraged personnel to make use of their existing EAP resources.

According to a recent survey undertaken by the Business Group on Health, up to 93% of companies have pushed their employees toward using telehealth solutions and virtual mental health programs. The group also uncovered that 74% of large employers had eliminated cost-sharing for telemedicine, making timely mental health support available to all employees.

Companies Need to Act Fast to Ensure the Continued Mental Wellbeing of Their Employees  

The COVID-19 public health crisis has placed a microscope on the EAP offerings companies have in place for their employees right across the globe. While there's no doubt that some businesses have reacted commendably and expanded their capabilities to better support employees, others have found their programs lack the services that employees so desperately desire (such as telehealth solutions).

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 Over the past two decades, Hamilton Edwards has helped small and medium-sized businesses with their benefits and their benefits administration. Now, Hamilton Edwards offers specific packages geared towards the challenges employees face during this time. This includes the EAP (employee assistance program), behavioral health, telehealth, and financial wellness. Check it out and call 704-375-1112 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further questions or to start your employees on the path of better productivity and mental health!

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