Mental and emotional health conditions have been exacerbated over the past year, with more people than ever before suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, and addiction. The business impacts can be severe, including low productivity, escalating benefits spend, and damage to the employment value proposition and brand.
HR and risk managers agree, according to Mercer Marsh Benefits’ People Risk report, which found more than 50% of firms saying that workforce exhaustion and deteriorating mental health are likely risks. In both instances, more than one-third considered that these risks could have a catastrophic or high impact on the organization.
Firms are seeing escalating workforce exhaustion, caused by work-life balance issues, change fatigue, and too many priorities and distractions. COVID-19 intensified this challenge, thrusting many people into the role of caregiver for the first time and creating additional pressures with potentially substantial negative mental and physical health impacts. If not managed proactively, this can lead to safety and productivity concerns as well as exits from the labor force, particularly for women and low-income wage earners.
While legislators are making some strides towards better protection of mental health, employers must address this issue now, and take immediate steps to protect their workforces. HR and risk managers are uniquely positioned to reinvent health and well-being plans in ways that can lead to positive impacts for employers and employees alike, in addition to fostering an environment where people can thrive.
Employees want help covering the cost of mental health treatment and tools to build resilience. Two-fifths of workers (42%) say quality mental health support is difficult to find or access according to Mercer Marsh Benefits' Health on Demand 2021 report. Employers can help — and survey results show it will mean a lot to their employees if they do.
Insurance coverage and other programs that cover the cost of mental health support are seen as highly or extremely valuable by half of employees. Nearly as many would value both tele-therapy and tools to build skills like mindfulness and resilience.
Mercer Marsh Benefits can work with you to implement a range of mental health benefits and solutions for your employees focused on:
of firms say that workforce exhaustion is a likely risk and 37% say it could have a catastrophic or high impact.
of firms say that deteriorating mental health is a likely risk and 43% say it could have a catastrophic or high impact.
of employees say quality mental health support is difficult to find or access.
of employees are less likely to leave a company with access to mental health benefits compared to 27% of workers whose employers do not offer mental health support.