Increasingly data shows that depression, stress, and anxiety are affecting more and more Americans as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Now is the time to review your mental health and wellness benefit offerings for your employees and encourage them to take advantage of these as needed. The statistics emphasize the urgency to address mental health now:
- A federal emergency hotline for people in emotional distress experienced a 1,000% increase in calls in April over a year ago.
- 20,000 people texted a hotline run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in April.
- Talkspace, an online therapy company, reports a 65% increase in clients since mid-February.
- The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute predicts that if unemployment rises to a level similar to the 1930s Great Depression, our country could expect an additional 18,000 people to die from suicide and more than 22,000 additional deaths from drug overdoses.
Despite these alarming numbers, there is no federal plan to deal with this mental health crisis. Of the trillions of dollars in recently passed coronavirus funding, only a small fraction is allocated for mental health. Employers may need to pick up the baton to help their workers.