On a webinar hosted by the National Alliance for Healthcare Purchasers, Margaret Faso, Director, Health Care Policy and Research at HR Policy joined others to discuss the quarterly trends in the Mental Health Index: US Worker Edition.
The Mental Health Index found that the risk of depression in American employees is up 106% in September compared to the summer vacation season, coupled with a 40% increase in anxiety and 16% increase in stress.
Understanding the unique needs of different employee populations can aid leaders in implementing the appropriate strategies. Ms. Faso commented on the fact that after implementing flexible work structures for many desk-based workers, employers are now turning towards how they can alleviate stress for those in deskless (e.g., manufacturing, distribution or retail) jobs. Staying connected to these employees through surveys, focus groups and resources like the Mental Health Index allows employers to prepare for times of high stress and increase communication to employees about the resources available to them “knowing that programs need to be used to be effective.”
Webinar moderator Michael Thompson, President and CEO, National Alliance of Healthcare Purchasers emphasized that employers need to better understand the many diverse factors that can impact employee wellbeing, stressing that “mental health and stress are not just a product of the pandemic.”
Fostering mental wellbeing in the workplace takes an intentional effort: Katy Riddick, One Mind at Work, discussed the common trend of improved mental wellbeing in the summer months followed by declines in the winter months. These patterns require leaders to think outside of the present and implement more long-term strategies to build healthier organizations.
A full recording of the webinar can be found here.