According to Mercer’s 2021 Health on Demand research, 42% of employees who have access to mental health benefits believe they are more likely to stay at their job than if they don’t.
That’s a huge number when it comes to giving mental health benefits.
Employers must accept the fact that mental health support at work is no longer a “benefit.” It’s an indispensable tool for employees.
In addition, 44 percent of employees who did not have access to mental health benefits felt unsupported by their employers, according to the poll of 14,000 employees from 13 countries. Employees who do not feel supported are generally unmotivated and unattached.
But, let’s face it, mental illness is nothing new. It’s existed for as long as there have been people on this planet. Do you believe prehistoric man was concerned about being pursued by a tyrannosaurus rex? It’s simply that the pandemic brought it to the forefront in a very visible way.
What’s up with that?
One of the preventive factors for any type of mental health illness, according to Dr. Benton, is social support. And there is a lot of social support in the job. Employees connect with one another, developing friendships that grow into relationships where they support and encourage one another. When everyone had to go home to work, that togetherness was very well shattered.
“While a lot of people tried to do their Friday afternoon cocktail/coffee hours on Zoom at first, it just wasn’t the same, and they started to drop off,” said Dr. Benton. “They weren’t getting their essential needs met. And then they started experiencing anxiety and depression.”
She also mentioned that there has always been a stigma associated with mental illness and getting treatment for it. With so many people suffering from depression and anxiety as a result of the pandemic and isolation, more people began to talk about it. It also made people aware of the fact that it’s “OK not to feel OK.”