Future Of Work: 9 Mental Health Predictions In The Post-Pandemic Workplace – Forbes

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The rise of mental health issues in the workplace has led more companies to prioritize employee … [+] wellness in 2022.
May is mental health awareness month, and mental health issues among American workers have been on the rise since the start of this year. The pandemic has been the most traumatic event that half (50%) of all Americans have lived through, according to new research. A study by McKinsey found that one of every three employees say their return to the workplace has had a negative impact on their mental health, and they’re feeling anxious and depressed. A total of 59% of Americans are feeling isolated since the start of the pandemic despite the fact that 75% are living with someone and a third are more depressed.
A poll of 1,000 people by All Points North (APN) Lodge, found that Americans are confronting escalating mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and panic attacks since the onset of the pandemic with 36.7% experiencing more anxiety, 32.5% more panic attacks and 27% more depression. Close to a third (30.3%) regularly grapple with stress and anxiety. And younger generations like Gen Z (53%) and Millennials (60%) are feeling the most traumatized by events of the last 20 months. “As the data shows, an increasing number of individuals are struggling with mental health, which of course makes sense—it’s been quite a year,” said Noah Nordheimer, CEO of APN. “But the only way we’ll get through it is by taking the steps to improve ourselves and our minds.”
A March 2022 poll conducted by the American Psychological Association suggests that Americans are in “survival mode” due to reports of high stress levels caused by inflation, the ongoing pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine. Given these stressors, it’s crucial that companies reflect on employee support and stress management at work. Managing this overwhelming feeling of global uncertainty along with day-to-day tasks can lead to even faster burnout, implicating employee morale, productivity and the company’s bottom line.
Although the spike in conversations around mental health during Covid-19 helped to reduce the stigma associated with receiving mental health care, there’s still a stigma. Fear of being judged because of a mental health diagnosis is the number one barrier to people getting help when struggling with mental health, with 57.8% citing this as the top reason they don’t seek treatment.
Providing mental health resources such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are effective ways to support employees struggling with mental health. But that’s only part of the picture, according to Laura Lee Gentry, chief people officer at Enboarder. “Working with the various resources of an EAP can help employees identify and address their mental health struggles before they become a genuine obstacle to their quality of life and performance, Gentry said. “However, offering an EAP is only a small piece of the puzzle as EAP usage is below 10%. To increase their utilization, businesses have to remove the stigma surrounding EAPs such as misunderstanding mental illness and encourage employees to use them.”

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