Employees’ mental health is getting worse as they dread a return to their workplaces after COVID-19 restrictions.
According to the most recent Mental Health Index compiled by Total Brain and the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, stress, anxiety, depressed moods, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and sleep apnea have all worsened among workers since March.
Anxiety and depressed moods were more prevalent in workers in April than before the pandemic the index noted.
The index found:
- A 29% increase in workers risk of PTSD since the start of February 2021.
- A 33% rise in anxiety among women from March to April.
- A 40% increase in anxiety over the past two months among middle aged workers.
- A 15% jump in both anxiety and depressed moods since the pre-pandemic days.
- A 25% rise in women’s stress in the past month.
- A 47% increase is anxiety for workers between 40-59.
And Employee Benefit News reported that two-thirds of workers say they have anxiety about returning to their workplaces. EBN said that with employers hoping to reopen offices and return to pre-pandemic life, they must be ready to deal with a workforce in crisis.
"After more than a year of emotional stress and trauma, employers and employees will never be the same," Michael Thompson, National Alliance president and CEO, said in a release. "As we get to the other side of the pandemic, we look with both hope and anxiety to a period of renewal, reconnection and reconstruction of our longer-term realities."
And Louis Gagnon, Total Brain CEO, said: "Workers want employers to help break the stigma of mental health struggles. "They want a corporate culture that embraces open dialog about mental health and an employer that provides a full-spectrum of mental health resources."
"The employees who have been working at make-shift kitchen table desks and bedrooms turned temporary offices are not the same employees who fled the workplace in March 2020," Gagnon said. "The mental health impacts of the past year will linger for some time and cannot be ignored."
According to the index, if the mental health challenges continue over the next few months, employees and those companies they work for must be prepared for the risk of mental health disorder to increase.
And it noted: "The increased mental strain Americans are experiencing — measured by the Mental Health Index — may drive more open discussions about mental health issues. Additionally, a new Total Brain survey found 88% of surveyed working Americans want a corporate culture that embraces open mental health dialog."
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