According to Wellable’s 2021 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report, mental health is at the top of everyone’s mind this year. Nine out of ten employers plan to invest more in this area so that they are well-equipped to address this part of well-being for their employees.
Even before the pandemic struck, the vast majority of especially Gen Z and Millennial employees – respectively 91% and 85% – already said that employers should have a mental health work policy in place, according to a survey commissioned by Zapier.
Unsurprisingly, the interest in employees’ mental health increased even further this year. The pandemic has had a big impact on people’s working conditions, often creating a lot of additional stress and/or anxiety.
For knowledge workers, the fact that they found themselves working from home full-time caused feelings of loneliness and, as the pandemic lingered, sometimes even depression.
Working from home also blurred the lines between our personal and professional lives with many of us (unconsciously) working longer hours, never fully switching off, and hence opening the door for burnouts.
For key workers (people working in healthcare, but also those working in for example supermarkets), the covid crisis meant that they were being confronted with disease and their own mortality on a daily basis all of a sudden.
In other words, stress levels went up big time for the vast majority of the workforce putting pressure on people’s mental health.
What do mental health benefits look like?
There are plenty of possibilities here but we’ll give a few examples. Options vary from:
- Giving your people access to a 24/7 confidential helpline and free sessions with a qualified therapist.
- To a holistic mental wellbeing solution that combines employee assistance programs and wellbeing apps with fitness and self-care.
- Mental health coaching. Starbucks, for instance, initiated a training program called Starbucks Mental Health Fundamentals for its employees. This adds to the company’s existing efforts to fight the stigma around mental health.
Mental health, telemedicine, and stress management are top three wellness solutions employers will invest more in in 2021.