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COVID-19's Impact on Mental Health and Workplace Well-being


54% of Americans

fear they will lose their job due to the pandemic

About the Data Insights

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll, Americans are facing greater mental health challenges. A recent survey comparing 2019 to 2020 found that the number of people reporting anxiety symptoms have tripled and depression symptoms have quadrupled during the pandemic. Data also shows that 54% of Americans fear they will lose their job due to the pandemic, and 50% are fearful of returning to in-person work due to health concerns. Everyone has been affected differently by the pandemic–whether from being a frontline worker or adjusting to a new work-life situation, the loss of a job or the weight of these unprecedented times. All of these factors can weigh heavily on employees and significantly impact their mental well-being.

This infographic highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers’ mental wellness. It also outlines actionable, workplace strategies that both employees and employers can implement to support and improve mental health and wellness.

Citations
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Increasing rate of anxiety and depression: “Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020,” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 14, 2020

  • NOTE: Study took place June 24–30, 2020

Young people 18-24 years old: “Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020,” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 14, 2020

Employers have an opportunity: AXA Asia / Columbia University WHO Centre for GMH, Supporting Mental Health of Employees During and Beyond COVID-19

Mental Health at Work

Reporting worse mental health at work: Paychex, Mental Health at Work, July 22, 2020

  • NOTE: This survey began collecting results on May 29, 2020 and completed on June 1, 2020. Ages of employees ranged from 19 to 78

Increase in Black and Latino mental health symptoms: “Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020,” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 14, 2020

Who colleagues confide in regarding mental health: Paychex, Mental Health at Work, July 22, 2020

Increased Mental Health Risks:

  • Job loss/risk of job loss: “The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use,” Kaiser Family Foundation, August 21, 2020
  • Isolation and social distancing: “The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use,” Kaiser Family Foundation, August 21, 2020
  • Juggling childcare and work: “The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use,” Kaiser Family Foundation, August 21, 2020
  • Not having proper supplies: Mental Health and the Covid-19 Pandemic, The New England Journal for Medicine, April 13, 2020
  • Fear of getting sick: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How to Cope with Job Stress and Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic, May 5, 2020
  • Managing an expanded workload: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How to Cope with Job Stress and Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic, May 5, 2020

Americans fear they may lose their Job: USA TODAY, ‘I’m Too Old to Find a New Career’: More Than Half of Americans Fear Job Losses, August 7, 2020

  • NOTE: Harris Poll survey conducted July 31 to Aug. 2

Half of workers are fearful of returning to work: Korny Ferry, Staying Home, June 16, 2020

  • NOTE: The Korn Ferry survey took place in early June 2020

Health Complications:

The physical effects of mental health: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Blog, How Your Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health, May 3, 2019

Higher risk of Cardiovascular Disease: “Severe mental illness linked to much higher risk for cardiovascular disease,” Kings College London, May 12, 2017

  • NOTE: An international meta-analysis of more than 3.2 million people with severe mental illness compared to the general public. Including 4 continents and 16 countries

Increased risk of dying from cancer: “Psychological distress in relation to site specific cancer mortality: pooling of unpublished data from 16 prospective cohort studies,” BMJ, January 24, 2017

Reduce life expectancy: “Risks of all‐cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders: a meta‐review,” Word Psychiatry, May 23, 2014

Employee Strategies to Prioritized their own Mental Health:

Strategies for employees: Center for Workplace Mental Health, Working Remotely During COVID-19: Your Mental Health and Well-being

Get outdoors: University of Minnesota, How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing?,

Ways Employers Can help Employees Mental Health:

Emerging Strategies Employers are Using:

  • Going offline during lunch: Human Resource Executive, When the office goes, what happens to culture? September 21, 2020
  • Wellness and home office stipend: Human Resource Executive, When the office goes, what happens to culture? September 21, 2020
  • Digital wellness trainings: SmartBrief, How companies can prioritize employees' mental well-being, August 25, 2020
  • Time to be creative: DiversityQ, How to boost employee wellness during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • 4-day workweek: Fast Company, Surprising COVID-19 side effect: More companies adopt the 4-day workweek, August 19, 2020
  • Food stipends: Inc., Grocery Stipends, Mental Health Hours, and Pet Paternity Leave: The Top Pandemic Perks Companies Are Offering Now, August 31, 2020

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