More Than Two in Five Americans Are More Sensitive to Stress Than Before the Pandemic

LifeWorks Mental Health Index reveals 42 percent of Americans are feeling an increased sensitivity to stress

-LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital and in-person total wellbeing solutions, released its monthly Mental Health Index that showed the 42 percent of Americans feeling more sensitive to stress have a mental health score more than 10 points below the national average. Additionally, 44 percent of American employees have noticed their colleagues are more sensitive to stress than pre-pandemic.

The Index found that American workers are still under strain with a mental health score lower than the pre-pandemic benchmark of 0.0 for the 25th consecutive month.

  • The Mental Health Index score for April 2022 is -5.5, a drop from March’s score of -4.8 and the lowest score since October 2021.

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Many Americans are expressing more stress sensitivity concerns about themselves and their colleagues, compared to pre-pandemic

  • Forty-four percent of working Americans have noticed their colleagues are more sensitive to stress, with 42 percent indicating the same for themselves and 21 percent unsure.
  • Respondents younger than 40 are 80 percent more likely to feel more sensitive to stress than pre-pandemic.
  • Sixty-one percent of Americans struggling with stress or their mental health are likely to reach out for professional help, compared to 24 percent who are unsure and 15 percent who are unlikely to seek treatment.
  • Americans with a reduced salary or fewer hours are 60 percent more likely to feel sensitive to stress compared to before the pandemic.

Comments from president and chief executive officer, Stephen Liptrap

“Persistent uncertainties in the economy and geopolitical arena continue to adversely impact Americans’ mental health, something that employers across every industry should recognize and keep in mind when providing resources and assistance. More than ever, people need to see their employer as a positive influence with respect to their mental health. Meaningful support, positive relationships, and an overall culture that prioritizes employee wellbeing are key to achieving the balance necessary for the current workforce.”

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

“Destigmatizing mental health issues in the workplace can help reduce the strain many American employees are feeling. As more Americans report their willingness to seek professional mental health support when they need it, it is important employers support this behavior by equipping the workplace with accessible wellbeing resources that help employees cope with all the changes they have encountered, and will continue to encounter, as we emerge from pandemic-related restrictions.”

The full American LifeWorks Mental Health Index report can be found here. This month, the report includes additional insights on Americans’ substance use and associated career stigma, workplace-sponsored addiction support programs and more. To receive LifeWorks Mental Health Index every month,

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