It’s been a hard few years: a global health crisis, war, and now the shock of rising inflation, price hikes and a looming recession. It is hardly any surprise that according to mental health charity Mind, one in four of us will experience a mental-health problem this year, and one in six report experiencing a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression, in any given week in England.
Whatever about managing your mental health on our own time, when it comes to the workplace, it can be another matter. Thirty-two percent of employees have said they were treated differently by their manager when they came back to work having been off sick with a mental illness diagnosis, and 20% felt their fellow colleagues’ attitudes towards them had changed.
There are signs that employers are finally taking notice, however. As conversations about mental health take centre stage in the media and in our conversations, workplaces have had to keep up.
New research from leading workplace mental health platform Modern Health polled over 1,700 employees with the aim to uncover how companies are responding to workers’ increasing needs for mental health support in the current climate.
“The past few years have left many of us feeling burnt out, exhausted, and stressed, so it’s not surprising that the topic of mental health has been forced into the spotlight,” says Alyson Watson, founder and CEO at Modern Health.
While 75% of companies know that employees are suffering anxiety, just 45% have already taken steps to address it. And while 85% of employers feel they actively listen to the needs of employees, it’s not surprising that only 51% of employees agree. When it comes to investment, 46% of employees believe their company invests enough in the mental health of employees, but 81% of employers believe they are spending enough.
“We’re seeing a bigger need for support as more people speak out about their mental health challenges… We are at a critical inflection point where organisations need to shift from the mindset of providing mental health support as a crisis response to it being an integrated and strategic part of the employee experience. Done right, the end result means both the companies and the human beings who make them run are more connected and engaged,” Watson says.
While it is clear that more can be done, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of companies already leading the field, supporting their staff with wellness and health programmes and supports.
Below, we’re taking a look at three which have particularly good benefits and policies, or which have put in place action plans targeted towards mental health as a result of the pandemic. For more, you can check out the City AM Job Board.
“We recognise the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace and the need for our people to know where and how to seek support when they are facing challenges. We also know how important it is to have a work environment that is free of stigma,” is Deloitte’s mental health mission statement.
In 2021, the company introduced a mental health baseline which set clear expectations in every country in which Deloitte operates. The requirements cover leadership education, reducing stigma, providing learning and support, and identifying causes of mental ill health and corresponding actions to address them. Additionally, the company is also founding partner of the Global Business Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health (GBC). You can discover all open roles at Deloitte here.
CrowdStrike has a comprehensive list of benefits on offer to its employees which include health benefits and health and wellness programmes, and during the pandemic, the company did even more, adding new programs and efforts to provide employees with support. Groups to promote well-being and community, across maintaining physical and mental health, were instigated.
Additionally, CrowdStrike created webinars to guide viewers on a two-pronged approach to increasing cybersecurity readiness against sophisticated cyber threats while taking care of mental and physical health. Interested in working at the company? You can check out open roles here.
In common with many professional services companies, EY offers a range of benefits to its workers. These include insurance including life, critical illness, dental, personal accident and travel as well as a free health assessment for employees aged 35 and over, and wellbeing kiosks available to all employees. You’ll also get private healthcare at manager level and above and for those with five years’ service. The company also offers monthly webinars on a range of physical and mental health topics.
There are other supports and programmes in place including its wellbeing programme known as Health EY. The Thinking Differently programme forms a part of this, helping EY place mental health firmly on its wellbeing agenda, introducing a number of policies, initiatives and training courses to staff. You can check all open roles at EY here.