Insider News: How employers can support mental health

Although studies show an improvement in employee mental health, the difficult times are not yet over. It's as important as ever for employers to continue supporting their employees' mental health and wellbeing. We're sharing articles on why this issue should continue to be a priority for employers, the impact of stress on employee engagement, and the success of virtual mental health care.

Employers are making mental health strides; Why they shouldn’t let up from Human Resource Executive

A recent Mental Health Index of U.S. workers from Total Brain indicates that employees are showing signs of mental health improvement, but are still significantly at risk for depression and anxiety due to COVID-19. Experts warn that the fall and winter months will bring increased levels of stress due to the colder weather, election, and holidays.

According to the index:

  • Employees' risk of depression is up 64% and general anxiety risk is up 43% from August to September
  • The risk of PTSD has gone down by 22%

Strategies that can help reduce these exceptionally high risks include improving and maintaining work-life balance, especially for remote workers, and taking breaks and time off. Some employers are also looking to technology and programs focused on mental health to help support their employees.

The impact of Covid-related stress on employee engagement from Forbes

As mental health suffers during the pandemic, so too does employee engagement. Research from Ohio State University shows that there is a strong correlation between our mental health and engagement at work.

The study also indicated that leadership can help mitigate stress and improve engagement by following the "servant leadership" model, which includes the following strategies:

  • Be attentive to employees' emotional needs
  • Prioritize their personal growth and happiness
  • Help channel stress by helping the local community by volunteering or doing donation drives

Teladoc data shows surge in virtual mental health care popularity from Healthcare IT News

Data from Teladoc Health showed a sharp increase in demand for virtual mental healthcare since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health visits for patients over the age of 65 increasing 16% since June, although Gen Z patients have seen the largest year-to-year growth rate in virtual behavioral health visits through Teladoc. Gen Z patients and millennials are also making up greater percentages of those with of anxiety disorder diagnoses compared with last year. Although men with mental illnesses are less likely to receive treatment than women, mental telehealth visits for men are up 79% when compared with January, versus 75% for women. Teladoc also found the year-over-year number of Medicaid patients with access to Teladoc mental telehealth has more than doubled.

Join our next community workshop: Ergonomics for Your Home Environment

Date: Thursday November 19, 2020 at 12 PM - 1 PM EST

Ergonomics is about improving your comfort, health and productivity with thoughtful workplace design. There are some small changes we can make as most of us are now working from home fulltime. Michelle Rex Murphy, OTR/L, CEAS, REAS, will show us how we can transform our space into a temporary office by using objects we have around our homes. Michelle has been practicing as an occupational therapist (OT) for over 19 years specializing in upper extremity injures, work related injuries, and ergonomics. 

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