The Hartford Study: Majority Of Employers Recognize Employee Mental Health As A Significant Workplace Issue, Report Stigma Prevents Treatment
- New research finds 70% of employers report mental health challenges among their employees, 52% also report substance misuse or addiction, while 72% say mental health stigma blocks care
Hartfordand the National Alliance on Mental Illnessurge employers to act now to raise awareness, dispel stigma and help more Americans access treatment
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Also, 52% of employers said they are experiencing significant or severe workplace issues due to substance misuse or addiction among their employees, according to The Hartford’s 2021 Future of Benefits Study, which polled
“A majority of employers said they feel prepared to support their employees’ mental health, and we applaud their efforts to support employees’ overall well-being during these times of intense change,” said The Hartford’s Chairman and CEO
Today, Swift will speak at The Hill’svirtual event, “Mental Health, Addiction, and the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Other scheduled speakers include Dr.
Mental Health Divide
While the national study showed employers have strived to support workforce well-being and foster a more compassionate workplace, employers and workers are divided in key areas about mental health in the workplace:
- 80% of employers said their company culture has been more accepting of mental health challenges in the past year, but only 59% of workers agree;
- 79% of employers said they have an open and inclusive environment that encourages a dialogue about mental health, compared to 52% of workers who agree;
- 77% of employers said leadership at their company encourages conversations about mental health, compared to 56% of workers who agree; and
- 78% of employers said workers have flexibility in their schedule to get the mental health help they need, but just 58% of employees agree about this flexibility.
These divergent perceptions indicate the pervasiveness and power of stigma, as well as the continued need for education and communication about mental illness and addiction.
Stigma’s Economic Cost
The research also showed the economic impact of untreated conditions due to stigma. One-third of
“The recent research from The
How To Be Stigma-Free
To help foster an open and inclusive work culture, The
- Learn more about mental health conditions and substance use disorder. Nearly half of adults with a substance use disorder also have a mental illness;
- Use respectful and first-person language to talk about mental illness and addiction, avoiding harmful words that perpetuate stigma; and
- Offer support if you think someone is having trouble. The NAMI Helpline at 800-950-NAMI provides information regarding available resources. If someone is in a crisis, text "NAMI" to 741741 crisis support via text message available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Employers can also:
- Provide mental health training to managers and senior leaders that includes information about mental illnesses, potential warning signs, and stigmatizing language guidelines;
Employee Assistance Program, as well as sleep management, mindfulness, or other programs that help improve mental and physical health; and
- Communicate often, year-round about benefits and programs that support overall well-being. With additional communication, employees can more easily access the benefits and resources when the need arises.
“We are encouraged our survey showed a majority of employers and employees think mental health will become less stigmatized in the workplace as a result of the pandemic,” Swift said. “Mental health matters now more than ever. Together with NAMI, we remain committed to eradicating stigma that threatens human achievement so that more people can prevail.”
The Hartford’s 2021 Future of Benefits Study was fielded from
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From time to time, The
1 Top five reasons for short-term claims for the last four years (2016-2020), excluding pregnancy, were musculoskeletal injury, cancers and other neoplasms, digestive conditions, and mental health conditions
2 Analysis of four years (2014-2018) of The Hartford’s workers’ compensation and disability claims data