Sixty-three percent of Americans believe people with mental health conditions treated differently

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CHICAGO– LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital and in-person total wellbeing solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health IndexTM revealing 63 percent of Americans believe people with mental health conditions are treated differently. Additionally, the 51 percent of Americans who felt their mental health was supported by their employer during the pandemic have a mental health score more than six points higher than the national average.

The Index found that American workers’ optimism and general psychological health declined from May to June.

  • The Mental Health Index™ score for June 2022 is 69.9 out of one hundred, improving modestly from May’s score of 69.4.
  • Sixty-five percent of Americans have a high or moderate mental health risk.
  • Mental health scores improved in all regions across the United States except the West.

Americans hesitant about how mental health conditions may be treated by their employers, colleagues, and friends and family

  • Ninety-three percent of Americans are hesitant about how mental health conditions are treated, with 63 percent believing they are treated differently and 30 percent unsure.
  • Thirty-two percent of Americans are uncomfortable talking about mental health with their manager.
  • Thirty-two percent of Americans are uncomfortable talking about mental health with their colleagues, and 14 percent are uncomfortable speaking with friends and family.

Americans who indicate their employers supported their mental health are doing better in terms of their own mental health

  • Those who felt supported cited work flexibility (46 percent), employer promoted mental health services and resources (31 percent), and dedicated days off for mental health care (21 percent) as the main reasons that they felt supported.

Comments from president and chief executive officer, Stephen Liptrap

“Access to mental health support provides a tangible safety net for working Americans. It’s clear that those who feel supported by employers are in a better place mentally than those without such support. At the same time, however, the stigma of reaching out for help is also tangible, with too many people reluctant to discuss mental health with either colleagues or managers. Employers need to address this reticence to engage because this environment of uncertainty has far-reaching consequences.”

Comments from global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen

“Even when there is access to vital mental health services, employees need to feel comfortable using the available tools regularly. A host of issues have induced or increased anxiety – the pandemic, the economy, public discourse – and mental health has suffered. If people don’t feel comfortable seeking help or ignore the benefit of continuous support, it could lead to poorer mental health creating relationship issues at home, productivity issues at work, and physical health issues in the long term. Establishing a culture where people are more open to asking for help is vital to supporting employees’ mental wellbeing.”