Many people endured once-in-a-lifetime changes in the last two years, and it has taken a toll on our mental health and collective psyche. As a result, 59% of professionals say that employers need to do more to support their mental health.
Employees Feel Unsupported When It Comes To Mental Health
For some, work has only exacerbated problems. About three out of five professionals in the U.S. (59%) do not believe their employer supports their mental health, according to a survey of 3,269 professionals on the professional social network Blind. Despite many employers’ recent investments in employee mental health, only 41% felt supported by their company.
“Over the past two years, we’ve experienced a massive shift in how we work,” said Danielle Poonoosamy, the director of people and culture at Alma, a membership-based network for mental health care providers. “It’s no longer enough to say that workplace culture happens in the four walls and hundreds of desks of an office location.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, some companies that fared the worst in mental health have suffered everything from recent layoffs to employees upset with return-to-office plans or a lack of work-life balance.
Nearly all of the professionals at T-Mobile (97%) said their employer does not support their mental health. Employees at Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Robinhood and Tesla fared no better.
“Organizations have to be flexible, and they have to give their people flexibility in order to support their workforce,” advised Poonoosamy.
How Employers Can Support Mental Health
Most large employers offer generous perks or robust employee benefits, many of which provide mental health support. However, Blind’s analysis found that the company benefits go unused by a majority of professionals. Employers could do a better job of educating their employees about the benefits available.
Some 13% of employees at some of the largest and most well-resourced companies, including Apple, DoorDash, JPMorgan Chase, PayPal and more, claim their companies do not offer any mental health benefits, even though many of these companies offer employee assistance programs or similar plans.
Employee assistance programs provide assistance, check-ins, evaluations and referrals for personal situations ranging from adoption and family life to legal or wellness matters. Support is typically accessible at no cost to employees and select family or household members, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, a professional association for human resources professionals.
Employees Don’t Use Mental Health Benefits At Work
A majority of professionals surveyed by Blind (55%) have not used any mental health benefits offered by their employer in the last year. Some experts believe the stigmatisation of mental health may be to blame. Companies might want to consider making mental health part of everyday workplace conversations or take the time to better educate employees about existing policies, such as paid time-off, flexible work schedules or allowances for remote work. The result may reduce employee burnout and better mental health.
While many employers offer mental health benefits, often for no or low cost, most professionals have not used them in the last year, according to a new analysis from Blind. Employers could do more to educate their employees about the resources and policies in place to promote better mental health in the workplace.