HRE’s number of the day: mental health programs

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53: Percentage of companies who say they’re providing special emotional and mental health programs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than half of the 256 employers surveyed by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions reported providing special emotional and mental health programs for their workforce due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

What it means to HR leaders: Stress and other mental health conditions are on the rise in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Those challenges are shining a light on employers’ mental health programs and benefits, and causing more HR and benefits leaders to quickly expand, roll out or communicate existing mental health benefits, apps and other resources in an effort to help employees. Experts say that is happening at a rapid pace with employers trying to keep up.

Companies including Starbucks, Target and PwC have expanded mental health resources for employees in recent weeks.

“Feelings of anxiety and stress are inevitable,” says Renee Schneider, vice president of clinical quality at Lyra Health. “Mental health programs can help to normalize employees’ feelings, while also teaching them new skills for effectively managing distress.”

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.