HRE’s number of the day: mental health shortcomings

Here’s how many employees say they aren’t getting enough support from their employer during the pandemic—and what it means for HR leaders.
By: | May 7, 2020 • 2 min read


65: Percentage of employees who don’t think they’re getting mental health benefits or programs that help them during the pandemic

Nearly two-thirds of employees of all generations say they do not feel their employer offers benefits or programs that help support or improve their mental wellbeing during this uncertain time, according to research from MetLife’s 18th annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study. The study also found that 42% of Gen Z and 36% of millennials do not feel mentally well right now—significantly more than other generations, as just 27% of Gen X and 17% of boomers say the same.

What it means to HR leaders

As employers and employees continue to adjust to the struggles of the new normal, it’s critical for employers to view mental health as vital to employees’ overall wellbeing, says Bradd Chignoli, senior vice president of group benefits at MetLife.

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Although employers already are offering some mental health resources—notably employee-assistance programs that include counseling services—MetLife’s findings show that employers need to step up in a big way. That’s especially important as a growing number of employees look for support due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a ripe opportunity to both communicate to employees about the benefit and reduce stigmas often associated with mental health through company leaders and managers leading by example,” Chignoli says. “In addition, financial wellness programs provide targeted support for a major concern of employees today: their financial health. Having these supportive benefits are invaluable for employees to maintain engagement and productivity, while also showing them they are supported as they cope with the pandemic’s impact on their and their families’ lives.”

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s 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. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.