Report Illustrates Impact of Employee Mental Health on Businesses

One-third of employers report significant impacts on business stemming from the strain on their employees’ mental health, according to a recent survey from The Hartford Financial Services Group. 

The Hartford claims data found that mental health issues are among the top five reasons U.S. workers file for short-term disability, excluding pregnancy. Employees diagnosed with physical injuries or illnesses typically take double or triple the time to recover when mental health issues are also present.

“Our new data on stigma is a wake-up call. As the U.S. economy is rebuilt, we urge business leaders to continue to prioritize employee mental health—fostering stigma-free company cultures, increasing access to resources and encouraging early treatment.” – Christopher Swift, chairman and CEO at The Hartford Financial Services Group

The majority of surveyed employers (70%) report mental health as a serious workplace issue, with over half (52%) reporting significant or severe workplace issues due to substance abuse. Unfortunately, there are still major barriers to treatment. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of employers said the stigma surrounding mental illness prevented employees from getting help. 

Employees said mental health issues caused trouble focusing, increased irritability, missed time from work, an inability to collaborate and missed deadlines. Despite pandemic-related challenges, most employees agree that their company culture has improved around supporting mental health. More than half of employees said their company has become more accepting of mental health challenges in the last year. In general, employees also say their companies provide flexibility around mental health, encourage mental health discussions and create an open and inclusive environment. 

Employers gave themselves higher ratings of success across all categories, indicating there is still room for improvement in continued employer education and communication. These findings from The Hartford illustrate the significant impacts of employee mental health on today’s workplaces. 

For additional workplace mental health information and resources, reach out to your dedicated Advanstaff HR Specialist.

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