EAP cases dealing with employee anxiety increase by 74%


The number of employee anxiety cases dealt with through employee assistance programmes (EAPs) increased by 74% between 2012 and 2014, according to data from Workplace Options.

Its research, which surveyed EAP data from over 100,000 employees in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, and South America, also found that the number of cases dealing with employee depression increased by 58% between 2012 and 2014.

The research also found:

  • The number of cases dealing with employee stress increased by 28% between 2012 and 2014.
  • Combined, employee depression, stress and anxiety accounted for 83% of all emotional health cases in 2014 compared to 55% in 2012.
  • Respondents seeking legal referrals accounted for 10% of all cases in 2012 compared with 15% in 2014.
  • 42% of cases were related to personal emotional health issues in 2014, compared to 38% in 2013.
  • The number of respondents seeking financial assistance from their EAP increased from 4% in 2012 to 6% in 2014.

Regional analysis found:

  • EAP cases in Asia relating to depression increased by 73% between 2012 and 2014, compared to 42% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 26% in North America and 55% in Central and South America.
  • EAP cases in the EMEA region relating to stress increased by 27% between 2012 and 2014 compared to 41% in Central and South America, 33% in North America and 20% in Asia.
  • EAP cases in North America relating to anxiety increased by 71% between 2012 and 2014, compared to 23% in Central and North America, 32% in Asia and 84% in the EMEA region.

Dean Debham, chief executive officer at Workplace Options, said: “Serious mental health issues can have a devastating effect on organisations around the world. What this analysis means for businesses around the world is that if your employees’ emotional wellbeing wasn’t already on the top of your list of priorities, it needs to be.

“While the percentage of cases dealing with personal emotional health issues is relatively unchanged, the issues we’re dealing with have become much more severe over the past three years.

“This can mean a couple of different things. More and more employees across the world are obviously struggling with very serious emotional health issues, but the silver lining is that among those struggling, more and more appear to be willing to reach out for help.”