A new workplace mental health landscape

With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s an opportune time to revisit mental health in the workplace. According to the World Health Organization, 15% of working-age adults live with a mental disorder1—and the number could be higher when factoring in undiagnosed issues. Without effective support, mental health conditions can affect a person’s confidence and identity at work, impact productivity and lead to absenteeism.

In fact, the World Health Organization reports 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety alone.1 Depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion each year, predominantly from reduced productivity.1

Increased stress fueled by economic uncertainty has exacerbated the strain on mental health, and has led to employee disengagement, burnout and an increase in employment disruptions. Women, low-income workers, people of color and younger employees are more likely to feel the impact.2

Did you know?

  • 1 in 5 adults experience a mental health condition, yet less than half receive care.3
  • 3 in 10 employees in the global workforce experience severe stress, anxiety or depression.3
  • Mental health conditions are more common than cancer, diabetes or heart disease.3

Employers ramp up support for employee mental health

In response to mental health concerns in the workplace, employers have made unprecedented investments in supporting the mental health of their employees. In fact, 90% of employers report that they increased their investments in 2022,4 and 80% of global human resource leaders say mental health and well-being is a top organizational priority.5 Employers are expecting that an intensified focus on employee mental health will pay off, as mental wellness has been associated with greater workforce engagement and satisfaction along with better overall employee health.3

With this elevated attention, the catalog of mental health solutions and strategies has also grown. New ideas to address workplace mental health have proliferated, from digital tools to new paradigms of employer responsibility.

New mental health report available soon

A new comprehensive mental health report, sponsored by Bank of America in partnership with High Lantern Group, will provide additional insights into:

  • The evolving workplace mental health landscape.
  • The challenges faced by employers in addressing workplace mental health.
  • How organizations can gauge the efficacy of emerging solutions.

Watch for the report coming soon.

1 World Health Organization, “Mental health at work,” September 2022.

2 “SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) Study: Lower-income earners, women, minorities face greater mental health challenges,” May 4, 2021.

3 Center for Workplace Mental Health, “Elevating mental health and well-being for a resilient workplace,” accessed April 2022.

4 “Mental Health, Digital Solutions Top List of Employee Wellness Trends for 2022,” Wellable Labs, January 2022.

5 McKinsey Health Institute, “Addressing employee burnout: Are you solving the right problem?,” May 2022.