Business

Are US workers in the middle of a mental health crisis?

It may sound obvious, but facing our collective mortality during the pandemic changed us. Of course, we had already dealt with many life challenges pre-Covid, but working under the weight of chronic stress and financial insecurity, not to mention our shared grief and utter disbelief at what was happening in the world, dramatically altered us.

The pandemic made us incredibly vulnerable, and global data shows we’re struggling with our mental health as a result. The Lancet estimated that the pandemic caused an additional 53.2 million cases of major depressive disorder globally, and an additional 76.2 million cases of anxiety disorders globally.

Three years on, we’re certainly still feeling the effects. In the new world of work, large swaths of the workforce say they’re burnt out, anxious and stressed, with nine out of 10 adults saying they believe that there’s a mental health crisis in the U.S. today.

Overwhelmed

In a February 2023 survey of 10,243 global workers by US think-tank Future Forum, 42 percent reported burnout, its highest figure since May 2021.

And in the U.S., 77 percent of Deloitte survey respondents say they have experienced employee burnout at their current job, with more than half citing more than one occurrence. It’s clear that, at this very point in time, workers are overwhelmed and unwell.

It’s little wonder many continue to quit their jobs in search of a better work-life balance (whatever that looks like). While reports of layoffs have cast a shadow over the recent surge in quitting, resignations still far outnumber reductions, with people quitting at three times the rate of layoffs. Indeed, the U.S. Labor Department’s January jobs report said employers had added over 500,000 jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 3.4 percent, the lowest since 1969.

Nevertheless, people are really struggling, and it’s up to employers to do something about it, not least because companies lose $300 billion annually due to their employees experiencing mental health-related issues.

Decreased productivity

Losses can be from absenteeism, decreased productivity, medical and disability expenses and, of course, people quitting––it can cost a company nearly two times an employee’s salary when they quit.

However, by understanding the mental health of their population, employers can create better ways to support their employees which, in turn, benefits their companies in the long-run. Instead of being the cause, they can be the solution to workplace stress.

To start, providing holistic mental health support to employees––from access to free or low-cost therapy to consistent support from HR––is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.

Transparency and open door policies around mental health discussions are essential, as are regular check-ins about workloads. The World Health Organization (WHO) Trusted Source reports that people who work 55 hours per week or more are up to 35 percent more likely to experience a stroke or heart disease.

It’s time to go beyond simply talking about mental health needs and making it a priority by putting the necessary action and money behind it

If your current employer isn’t making mental health a priority, then it may be time to seek employment elsewhere. Here are three open roles at companies renowned for good work-life balance and great benefits, with many more on The Hill Job Board.

Marketing Content Writer, C-SPAN, Washington

C-SPAN is seeking a Marketing Content Writer to write and edit compelling content that promotes C-SPAN’s products and services and fulfills corporate needs. You’ll ensure that language is parallel across all formats and consistent with C-SPAN’s Style Guide. Promotional copy should be written so as to engage across a variety of key audiences including consumers, educators and other targeted audiences, and be optimized for different platforms and for SEO discoverability. You will need strong communications to assimilate information from teams across the company and then compose copy for multimedia promotions for topical content. If this role sounds compelling, you can read all about it here

Director of Public Relations, American Gas Association, Washington

The American Gas Association is seeking a Director of Public Relations to join its Communications team. As an ambassador for the industry, you will develop and execute content and activities designed to promote, enhance and protect the natural gas brand and the reputation of the association. Leveraging relationships with key stakeholders, including media, is critical to the success of this role. In addition, you’ll be expected to stay engaged with and work collaboratively with key AGA leadership and staff responsible for federal and state advocacy initiatives and travel domestically for communications purposes. You’ll find more information on this exciting role here.

 

Director of Suicide Prevention, USA and Canada – Remote, LivingWorks Education Inc., Washington

The Director of Suicide Prevention – USA and Canada (North America), as part of the business development team, will contribute to and drive the strategic direction of the organisation. As such, you will be required to develop client relationships, establish working relationships with government agencies, community leaders and the general public, and grow the North American revenue base. Applicants should have a Bachelor’s degree five-plus years’ of experience in business development or sales. You can read all the details here.

For more career opportunities and to find a role that best suits your lifestyle, visit The Hill Job Board 

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