Employees’ mental health has become a serious issue in the workplace and employers are increasingly likely to recognize not only the costs but also how the stigma surrounding mental illness is an obstacle to treatment.
A study from The Hartford found that 70 percent of U.S. employers now recognize that employee mental health is a significant workplace issue, up from 59 percent in June 2020. In addition, 31 percent said the strain on employee mental health is having a severe or significant financial impact on their company—an 11-point increase from March 2020
However, 72 percent of employers said the stigma associated with mental illness prevents workers from seeking help, according to The Hartford’s 2021 Future of Benefits Study, which polled U.S. workers and human resource benefit decision-makers.
Among the study’s findings:
- 52 percent of employers said they are experiencing significant or severe workplace issues due to substance misuse or addiction among employees, up from 36 percent in March 2020.
- 27 percent of employees said they struggle with depression or anxiety most days or a few times a week, up from 20 percent in March 2020.
- 72 percent of U.S. employers said burnout is a significant issue at their workplace.
- 61 percent of employees have privacy concerns about sharing mental health information with their employer/co-workers.
- 79 percent of employers believe they have an open and inclusive environment that encourages a dialogue about mental health, but only 52 percent of workers agree.
- 80 percent of employers said their company culture has been more accepting of mental health challenges in the past year, but only 59 percent of workers agree.
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