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Hidden Depression Among Workers - How to Identify It and How to Help
Find out how managers can help their workers stay healthy and maintain good mental health on the job, and avoid healthcare related financial penalties.
According to the CDC, 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year, and more than 50% of us will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in our lifetime.
Prior to the pandemic, mental health researchers calculated that depression and anxiety disorders alone were responsible for $210 billion in added costs to the economy every year.
As you might expect, the pandemic has made things worse.
The number of workers who report dealing with one or more mental health conditions (including anxiety, depression, or PTSD) doubled from 20% to 40% between 2020 and 2021, according to a survey by Lyra Health.
The Covid Pandemic Has Dramatically Increased Stress Levels
The pandemic has increased our overall stress levels considerably – and this, in turn, will have a major negative effect on our collective mental health.
If we make a scorecard of the typical external factors that contribute to stress and anxiety, Covid is hitting all the marks, with many Americans experiencing one or more of the following:
- Income Instability, Increased Poverty due to Job Losses, Business Closures
- Political Arguments Leading to Family or Friend Estrangement, Divorce
- Lockdown Loneliness and Social Isolation from Friends, Family, Co-Workers
- Lack of Timely, Affordable Access to Medical Care
- Increase in Significant Health Conditions, including Covid and Long Covid
- Grief due to Illness and Death
- Increased Levels of General Anxiety and Fear of the Unknown
- Sleep Disorders and Fatigue
- Job Burnout, Concern over Workplace Safety
- Poor Eating Habits, Decreased Exercise and Fitness, Increased Alcohol Use
- Increased Incidence of News Doomscrolling and Catastrophizing
- Public Outbursts, Online Bullying and Trolling,
- Negative Impact of Social Media on Self-Esteem
We might assume that older workers would bear the brunt of this stress, but researchers from AP and the University of Chicago's NORC found that members of the Gen Z generation (currently aged 13-24) have been especially hard hit by the stress of the pandemic.
The Case For Investment In Improved Mental Health
According to a survey conducted by the human resources company Paycor, 86% of business leaders are concerned about mental health in the workplace as a result of the pandemic.