People’s stress levels are on the rise, according to a 2022 survey. Key findings show that 84% of Americans feel stressed weekly, up from 78% in March last year. Their top source of stress is their finances, followed by work. High levels of job stress are harmful not only to employees’ health but also their productivity.
While it isn’t possible to eliminate all sources of distress, it’s vital to understand the importance of mental wellness in whole-person health. Including mental health programs in your core benefits offerings and providing access to virtual behavioral healthcare can go a long way in helping your employees and your organization.
Less Mental Health Stigma, More Awareness
Mental health wasn't always something people discussed in public. Because of the stigma, many people fought their battles privately. But things are changing as more people from all walks of life share their struggles and advocate for mental health. With higher awareness of the spectrum of mental illness, people are beginning to see the urgency of addressing it. This points to the importance of workplace resources and benefit offerings that support mental health, a key component of whole-person health.
Supporting Mental Health In The Workplace
Addressing mental health issues helps both employees and employers. Mental wellness in the workplace can translate into physical well-being and result in better morale, lower absenteeism, and higher productivity.
Still, addressing mental health concerns isn't easy. Employees have different needs and want support in different ways. Company employee assistance programs (EAPs), virtual care, and behavioral health solutions are various options to offer the support and information your employees may need.
1. EAPs: These are company-sponsored programs that provide employees with confidential counseling and referrals to help them navigate life's challenges. Empire's EAP, for instance, addresses various issues, such as dealing with addiction and recovery, coping with traumatic events, and managing stress, change, and relationship issues. The program also helps employees with daily pressures, such as legal or financial concerns, child care and parent care, and work-life balance.
2. Virtual Care: Virtual care options make access to care more flexible than ever before by giving employees the option to receive care where and when it is best for them. Using a mobile device or computer camera, they can connect with a doctor for consultation or treatment. Another emerging benefit of virtual care is the privacy it affords the people receiving care. This approach significantly increases access to care because employees aren't limited by geography. Even in areas with few mental health professionals, employees can still find and receive care.
3. Behavioral Health Solutions: These are programs, tools, and services that make it simpler for employees to integrate mental health with their total well-being efforts. Digital platforms, like the SydneySM Health app, offer employees a central place to seamlessly find benefits, tools, and other helpful information. Making this information readily available helps employees reach out when they need help.
Long-Term Focus On Employee Well-Being
A positive outcome of the pandemic is the focus on mental health is here to stay. Your company can keep mental health at the forefront by ensuring core mental health benefits are easy to access and talk about.
Model your efforts to prioritize mental health in your workplace. Take mental health days yourself and encourage others to do the same. You can help lower stress and anxiety by sending emails or making work-related calls only during work hours. Create openness and acceptance with respectful discussions about mental well-being.
It's important that mental health offerings are both proactive to prevent issues and reactive to address ones that occur. Connecting mental health to total person care can go a long way in helping employees access the care they need to support whole-person wellness.
Sydney Health is offered through an arrangement with CareMarket, Inc., a separate company offering mobile application services on behalf of Empire Blue Cross©2021-2022.