48% of employed adults surveyed said they have helped a loved one live with a mental health challenge in the past year and 80% of caregivers say helping a loved one manage a mental health challenge has impacted their own mental health as a result
6-in-10 caregivers say that their work productivity has been impacted
More than half of surveyed workers have not informed anyone at their company about their caregiving responsibilities
Three-in-four caregivers wish their employer would offer more benefits focused on mental health
While an important focus has been placed on helping employees with their own mental well-being, the latest research commissioned by New York Life Group Benefit Solutions reveals that employees also need greater support in the workplace when it comes to caring for loved ones living with a mental health challenge. In fact, nearly half of surveyed workers (48%) have helped a loved one live with a mental health challenge in the last year, and 45% of this group say their loved one is experiencing mental health challenges more often this year than in the previous year.
As a result, 8-in-10 surveyed workers said helping loved ones has impacted their own mental health and two-thirds (65%) report needing more assistance addressing their own mental health, according to the research.
“The increasing rate of mental illness is a growing concern, impacting both individuals navigating these challenges and the loved ones who are supporting them,” said Meghan Shea, Vice President and Head of Strategy and Solutions at New York Life Group Benefit Solutions. “While many employers have increased benefit offerings designed to address eldercare and childcare needs, caregiving associated with mental health is an area of opportunity – and our research shows employees are turning to their workplaces for this kind of support.”
HR Technology News : HR Tech Interview With Rosa Finelli, Executive Director, L&D At Kaplan
The survey indicated a greater stigma surrounding mental health discussions in the workplace, particularly for women.
- More than half of the surveyed caregivers (53%) were female Millennials (26%) and Gen Xers (27%).
- Female Millennials and Gen Xers reported experiencing more mental health challenges than their male counterparts, specifically anxiety for female Millennials (67% vs. 56%) and sadness for female Gen Xers (54% vs. 45%) because of their caregiving responsibilities.
- Male Millennials were more aware of their company’s mental health resources compared to female Millennials (60% vs. 51%) are more likely to say nothing would stop them from using these resources (41% vs. 34%).
“The survey results show that there is still a great deal of stigma surrounding mental health discussions in the workplace, particularly for women,” said Shea. “It’s concerning to see that female Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers report experiencing more mental health challenges than their male counterparts, and yet they are less likely to inform someone at work about their need for support. This highlights an opportunity for workplaces to focus on providing safe and supportive environments where employees, regardless of age or gender, feel comfortable discussing their mental health challenges and seeking the help they need.”
Although caregiving is having a negative impact on their work performance, caregivers are hesitant to vocalize their concerns and needs at work.
- 80% of caregivers surveyed said helping loved ones manage these challenges has impacted their own mental health and stress levels.
- Most caregivers (61%) reported that helping their loved ones cope with mental health challenges has impacted their work productivity.
- Despite feeling stressed (62%), exhausted (48%), distracted (48%), and overwhelmed (47%) at work, nearly half of caregivers avoid taking time off to support their own or a loved one’s mental health (47%) due to heavy workloads (46%).
- A significant number of caregivers, especially women (63%), have not informed their company about their need to support their loved ones’ mental health.
“The data shows that caregivers are silently struggling in the workplace due to the negative impact of caregiving on their mental health and work performance. Despite feeling stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed, many caregivers hesitate to voice their needs. Employers can make a positive impact by acknowledging and addressing these challenges and creating a workplace that values the well-being of its caregivers, including considering flexible work arrangements or paid time off for caregiving needs, which can go a long way in supporting employees who are juggling the demands of caregiving and work.”
HR Technology News : HR Tech Interview With Alison Martin, Founder And Managing Director At Engage Mentoring
Employers have an opportunity to create an even stronger culture of support around mental health and drive greater awareness of available resources.
- Although 54% of surveyed workers are familiar with the mental health resources offered by their employer, almost half (48%) have not utilized them, either by choice (31%) or because their employer does not offer any (17%).
- A significant majority (73%) of caregivers surveyed wish their employer would offer more mental health benefits.
- More than a quarter (29%) of caregivers surveyed believe there isn’t anyone at their company that is equipped to help them find resources if they had mental health challenges.
- Mental health benefits play a key role in employee satisfaction, with most caregivers saying they are important to having a positive working experience (92%), feeling supported (92%), and even remaining at their company (83%).
“Employers have the power to create a workplace culture that supports mental wellbeing and individuals at all levels can play a role,” said Shea. “Human Resources and Benefits teams can be advocates at the company level, making sure that mental health resources and programs are communicated to employees. But what’s often missing are advocates at the local level, such as team leads and managers. By training managers on how to effectively discuss mental health needs with their employees, they can reinforce and drive awareness of available support during one-on-one discussions.”
HR Technology News : HR Technology Highlights – HR Tech Daily Round-Up For 27 March 2022
[To share your insights with us, please write to email@example.com]