Unum research highlights ongoing mental and behavioral health crisis
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (June 28, 2022) — New research from employee benefits provider Unum (NYSE: UNM) shows over half (56%) of U.S. workers, primarily Millennials and Gen Z, felt mentally unwell in the previous year.
Additionally, 42% of employees said they needed to take time off from work to deal with their mental health.
Mental Health by the numbers
Employee mental health remains low. Experts say the combination of health concerns and work pressures during the pandemic caused widespread mental health problems that will reverberate far into the future.
Among U.S. workers, Unum research found:
- 70% of employees suggest there’s room for improvement for their employers to reduce the stigma around mental health all year-round.
- Nearly one third (30%) say their employer does not do a good job of promoting mental health resources or offerings.
- 42% are more likely to seek mental wellbeing support only in a crisis, rather than seeking help proactively.
- 1 in 3 (35%) identify cost of services as the biggest deterrent when seeking mental health resources.
- One third (33%) are a part of the “Sandwich Generation,” meaning they currently care for parents/elders and children/younger dependents, which often comes with more responsibility, greater financial burden, and, at times, devastating stress.
Digital Solutions offer employees reprieve
Swapnil Prabha, vice president of Workforce Wellness Solutions for Unum Group, shared this type of data continues to drive investments in mental health care by employers for their employees.
“The ongoing pandemic has further exacerbated the mental health crisis we were already in, but it also helped normalize the need for mental health support,” said Prabha. “Despite the longstanding stigma and other challenges in mental health, the power of technology can make it possible for more people to get access to the right help when they need it.”
Unum Behavioral Health is one of the only mental health solutions on the market specifically built as a partner to employers. It goes beyond the typical Employee Assistance Program (EAP), with a proven approach to maximize employee participation and engagement. It delivers a personalized and private web portal to guide the worker to the support right for them, including clinical treatment options, along with a robust library of mental health resources. Employees are matched with a coach or licensed therapist within three days.
Prabha remarked that HR teams are already strained, and mental health is a critical, but complex challenge. Unum brings nearly 175 years of expertise as a partner to employers to help take on this challenge together. “The pandemic has accelerated virtual access. Care and support can be accessed at almost any time from nearly any location with no drive-time required,” shared Prabha.