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Workers want mental health support from employers: survey

Photo: Omar Osman/iStockphoto

Washington — More than 4 out of 5 U.S. workers say mental health support from a potential employer will be a key consideration when seeking future job opportunities, results of a recent survey show.

Commissioned by the American Psychological Association, researchers at the Harris Poll conducted an online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adult workers between April 22 and May 2. Of those, 71% said their current employer is more concerned about worker mental health needs than in the past.

The most desired mental health supports identified by the respondents were flexible work hours (41%), a workplace culture that respects time off (34%), the ability to work remotely (33%) and a four-day workweek (33%).

Other findings:

  • Fewer than a third of the respondents (30%) said their employer offers health insurance with coverage for mental health and substance use disorders.
  • 11% said their employer has someone onsite who has received mental health training.
  • Among those who are knowingly monitored at work, 60% feel tense or stressed out on the job, while 45% believe the work environment negatively affects their mental health.

“These findings underscore the importance of mental health support in the workplace to workers across all industries,” APA Chief Executive Officer Arthur C. Evans Jr. said in a press release. “Some of the increased focus on workplace mental health support may have resulted from employers working to meet employees’ needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though these efforts have been helpful, it is important to recognize many workers continue to struggle and need additional supports. Therefore employers must maintain and, in some cases, expand their mental health service offerings.”

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