Research from Kaiser Family Foundation found that 53% of respondents are worried that the pandemic is hurting their mental health.
While mental health problems have skyrocketed over the past year, the U.S. has been experiencing a mental health crisis for over a decade now.
Although business leaders have long adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” culture, the well-being of employees has a direct impact on a company’s profitability.
In fact, the CDC estimates that businesses lose over 200 million workdays every year due to depression, costing them up to $44 billion.
This is why businesses need to reevaluate how to better support their employees, as well as identify how the workplace itself may be contributing to poor mental health.
Being open and communicative about mental wellbeing is crucial. Recognizing challenges and failures across all hierarchies will be essential to creating a more open workplace culture.
Additionally, offering both physical and mental healthcare benefits can be helpful for employees who are struggling. This can include teletherapy and telepsychiatry, which has become increasingly more accessible over the past year.
Training leaders to be more empathetic and aware of mental health challenges will also be essential to curating a workplace that nurtures workers who are struggling.
Companies should also normalize taking mental health days. Oftentimes, employees who take off work due to poor wellbeing often spend the day feeling guilty about taking time off.
Leaders should include these days into sick-time policies, and let their workers know that it is alright for them to take a break.