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Majority of Companies Show Awareness of Employee Mental Health

  • The Hartford’s Future of Benefits Study finds 70 percent of employers identifying mental health as a significant workplace issue
  • Company leaders significantly more likely than employees to believe their business has taken steps to address mental health
  • Business leaders urged to develop strategies such as employee assistance programs and leadership training

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

A majority of employers perceive employees’ mental health as a significant workplace issue, according to a recent study by the major insurance company The Hartford.

Seventy percent of employers polled for The Hartford’s 2021 Future of Benefits Study say mental health is a significant issue in the workplace. A similar share, 72 percent, said the stigma associated with mental health issues has prevented workers from seeking help.

Other findings included:

  • 52 percent of employers said they are experiencing significant or severe workplace issues due to substance misuse or addiction among their employees
  • 80 percent of company leaders said they think their company culture has become more accepting of mental health challenges over the past year, but only 59 percent of workers concurred
  • A similar divide was apparent over the perception of companies’ willingness to encourage a dialogue about mental health or offer schedule flexibility to address mental health issues
  • Unaddressed mental health issues can result in significant costs to companies due to prolonged disabilities or unexpected absences
  • The Hartford CEO Christopher Swift called the results a “wake-up call” and urged companies to prioritize mental health through strategies such as employee assistance programs and mental health training for managers and leaders

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