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Poll shows most employers offer some form of mental health benefits, but burnout impacts over 40% of employees

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A survey fielded last month by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) found that most working adults know how to access mental health care services through work (67%). Despite this, 2 in 5 employed adults worry about retaliation or being fired if they take time off for their mental health (44%) or seek mental health care (39%).

The of more than 2,000 Americans, conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of APA, assessed experiences of mental health in the workplace.

Despite their fears of retaliation for addressing their mental health, 59% of respondents surveyed agreed that they could discuss mental health openly and honestly with their coworkers, and 58% agreed that they could discuss their mental health openly with their supervisors.

Of working adults, 42% reported experiencing burnout ("a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress") within the past six months, and nearly half of respondents (48%) said that they "always" or "sometimes" struggle to get away from their work at the end of the day.

Employers offer a variety of options to access mental health services. Nearly one-third (31%) of working adults indicated that they have access to that offers sufficient mental health coverage through their , 30% can access an employee assistance program, and 28% have access to telehealth services that offer virtual counseling by phone, an app, or video conferencing.

"We spend a good amount of our time at work, whether we're in offices or remote settings," said APAF Executive Director Rawle Andrews Jr., Esq. "We're heartened to see more employers recognize that accessible matters for their employees, and employers can be one of the most important drivers for changing the mental health landscape."

The APA Foundation's Center for Workplace Mental Health was established in 2005 to promote , develop resources, and share insights with employers seeking to improve their workplace wellness culture.

The Center offers fee-for-service programs as well as complimentary resources for employers. Programs include Frontline Connect, which provides resources and strategies to improve access to and supports to the health care workforce, and Notice. Talk. Act. at Work, an e-learning training module designed to educate managers and supervisors on supporting the mental health of their employees.

"The workplace environment for mental health shows some encouraging signs: it's more acceptable to say the words 'depression' or 'anxiety,'" said Betsy Schwartz, APAF's Director of the Center for Workplace Mental Health.

"That's an extremely important step towards defeating the fear and shame often associated with mental health concerns in the . At the APA Foundation's Center for Workplace Mental Health, we're on the forefront of helping employers figure out how to create workplaces with mental health in mind."

The poll was conducted April 9 to 11, 2024, among a sample of more than 2,200 adults. This annual survey is complemented by APA's Healthy Minds Monthly series, conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of APA. See past Healthy Minds Monthly polls.

Citation: Poll shows most employers offer some form of mental health benefits, but burnout impacts over 40% of employees (2024, May 23) retrieved 15 June 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-05-poll-employers-mental-health-benefits.html
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