The majority (91%) of US respondents believe that employers should care about their emotional and mental health, according to research by on-demand behavioural health provider Ginger.
Its 2019 Workforce attitudes towards behavioural health report, which surveyed 1,200 full-time US employees with access to employer-provided health benefits, also found that, although 65% report having behavioural health coverage as an employee benefit, 81% experience barriers to using these services. For example, respondents reported a limited number of providers covered by the plan, a lack of time to get help, confusing programme options and stigma.
Furthermore, 35% of US-based staff have had to pay for behavioural healthcare because their employee benefits provision was inadequate, and 30% have started a behavioural health programme that they did not finish; this includes 45% of respondents in generation Z and 43% classed as millennials.
Russell Glass, chief executive officer at Ginger, said: “Through both our members and employer clients alike, we consistently hear about the challenges of managing emotional and mental health in the workplace.
“The effects of stress on [employee] productivity and [an organisation’s] bottom line are well documented. We are taking this one step further by exploring how stress affects [employees] emotionally, what tools they may be using to get care and the employer’s role in making that care more accessible and useful.”
When asked to evaluate their stress levels within a 12-month period, 81% of respondents acknowledged that stress had impacted their work negatively, manifesting in symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, physical ailments and missed work days. Just under half (48%) said they have cried at work due to stress and an additional 50% admitted to having missed at least one day of work during the year because of stress.
The majority (85%) of respondents stated that behavioural health benefits are a consideration when evaluating new job opportunities; especially as 50% are now more likely to address their mental health by getting help.
Glass added: “While it’s encouraging to see that attitudes about behavioural health are changing, it’s clear that there is significantly more work to be done to make care more accessible when and where [employees] need it.”