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According to Morneau Shepell: One Third Of American Employees Are Less Motivated At Work Than Before The Pandemic

Morneau Shepell, a leading provider of total wellbeing, mental health and digital mental health services, released its monthly Mental Health Index™ report, making September the sixth consecutive month of negative mental health scores. The Mental Health Index™ for September is -6.3, which measures a decline in mental health from the pre-2020 benchmark of 75, as well as a decline from -5.6 in August and -5.1 in July. Compared to the previous month, the biggest decline of any sub-score is in work productivity with a decline of 2.5 points, followed by worsening depression and isolation.

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The significant decline in U.S. employees’ productivity aligns with other data in the latest Index that shows respondents struggling with motivation issues. Three out of ten (30 percent) employees indicate that they find it more difficult to concentrate on work than before the pandemic, 37 percent feel more mentally and/or physically exhausted at the end of the work day, and 32 percent say they find it more difficult to feel motivated to do work than before the outbreak six months ago.

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Throughout the United States, all regions experienced continuing declines in mental health scores since July, when the regional scores last illustrated a general improvement. The mental health score in the Western United States, which has been battling wild fires in addition to the pandemic, is -7.0, close to the -8.0 low point seen in April for the country overall. The latest report continues to show that parents, younger individuals, those with lower household incomes, those who identify as female or other, and non-White populations, have lower mental health scores.

The Mental Health Index™ also tracks sub-scores against the benchmark, measuring anxiety (-8.2), optimism (-7.9), depression (-7.9), work productivity (-7.8), isolation (-6.5), general psychological health (2.2) and financial risk (8.2). All sub-score areas experienced declines with the exception of optimism, which rose slightly from -8.5 last month. The most significant negative change was work productivity, which declined the most with a 2.5 point drop.

“The second straight month of decline in the Mental Health Index™ of Americans, suggests that we are in the ‘second wave’ of mental health issues,” said Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer. “It’s important to pay attention to the impact on work productivity. The connection between mental health and work productivity is clear and we need to understand that productivity risk is one of the significant impacts of the pandemic.”

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