Mental Health - Responses from the Business World
Updated: Mar 3
The world seems to be recognizing that mental health and a person’s overall well-being can no longer be overlooked. According to the report by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) mental health problems have already been on the rise, since the pandemic, it has been reported that about 4 in 10 adults in the United States have disclosed they have symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder.
During 2021, Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka are just a few of the famous athletes to publicly announce their own mental health struggles and have taken a step back from the sports they play to address them. Famous athletes and celebrities like Simone and Naomi are helping destigmatize mental health. Their announcements are timely as there continues to be an increase of people suffering from mental health issues and it is essential to recognize this as a serious problem.
The business world is responding more than ever in supporting their employees with mental health challenges, and mental health and wellness has even become a part of their employee benefits packages. Amazon and Walmart are some of the big businesses that are making changes and focusing on addressing mental health concerns by expanding or adding to their mental health resources for their employees. Some employers may offer mental health benefits through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which allows employees access to free and confidential mental health services when needed; however, businesses know they need to offer more. They have realized mental health is part of physical health and employers are offer sick days for the employee’s whole physical health including mental health days.
In addition, the company Phenom, an HR technology vendor, is going above and beyond and providing $1000 to each of their American employees to put towards improving their mental health in 2022. This mental health benefit is available to their employees even if they are not enrolled in the company’s health care benefits. With many companies still working remotely because of the pandemic, many employees have reported feeling isolated and alone. This isolation is only adding to more mental health problems. Phenom, is just one example of a company implementing benefits to help employees with mental health wellness and other employers need to consider implementing similar programs to support their workforce.
Since the pandemic, mental health and wellness has become even a significant global and societal issue. A positive outcome is mental health problems beginning to become destigmatized, and there is a shift not only in the amount of people self-disclosing their mental health problems, but changes in how businesses are handling it. Policies like the one at Phenom provides a step in the right direction in supporting employee’s mental health and wellness. If you would like to read more about Phenom and its new policies, check out this article.