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On the Rise: Workforce Mental Health Concerns

By Alliant Employee Benefits / May 22, 2023

Millions of people across the United States experience symptoms of a mental health condition each year, and the number of employees seeking care through their employer is trending upward.

Diagnosis of a mental health condition impacts the life of a person every day, but it can also have severe effects across families, communities, economies, and the workplace.

Did You Know?
Stressed employees cost their employers nearly 50% more1 in annual healthcare costs, lost productivity, and absenteeism.

Alliant’s 2023 Mental Health & Stress Pulse Survey shows that over the past three years, employers have seen significant changes:

  • Reduced Engagement: 71%
  • Decreased Morale: 71%
  • Decreased Retention: 61%
  • Decreased Productivity: 55%
  • Worsened Health: 54%

The COVID-19 pandemic added to the increase in diagnoses of depression, anxiety, and self-harm ideation, but the harshest influence facing employees is the stigmatization of treatment and its accessibility.

What can employers do today?
Doing nothing is not a sustainable strategy.

Mental health treatment is unique to the individual, and often, employer-sponsored benefit offerings cover very little in the support, intervention, and continued care needed to address recurring symptoms.

Our survey results indicate employers will dedicate significant focus to these key areas over the next three years:  

1. Stress Training for Managers
Employers are looking to help reduce stigma and increase awareness and access to mental health care. Leveraging no-cost resources for communications, leadership trainings, and other resources that are centered around the worker’s voice and equity can lead to highly successful support across an organization.

2. Outreach to Family Members/Caregivers
External stress contributes to an employees’ productivity and absenteeism in the workplace. Providing communications via home mailers, emails, and texts increases the number of touchpoints throughout the year and promotes awareness of mental health resources.

3. Third-Party Concierge Programs
Concierge programs are increasingly popular across employers. Surveying employees will identify program characteristics and services that will engage employees in seeking help for behavioral health issues.

The right vendor match will help an employer address the most critical and pressing mental health needs while building overall stress management and resiliency skills for their entire workforce. A benefits advisor can assist with narrowing and vetting the vendor landscape to ensure solutions are financially stable, provide true ROI and cost containment, and fit the organization’s well-being objectives.

Mental Health is Everyone’s Issue
Destigmatizing mental health issues increases our connection with each other, and in turn, our connection to the workplace. Supporting population mental health is not just the right thing to do from a human perspective, but a strategic imperative for your organization.

1National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Stress at Work Booklet. Publication No. 99-101.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance. This information is provided on an “as is” basis without any warranty of any kind. Alliant Insurance Services disclaims any liability for any loss or damage from reliance on this document.