Mental health assistance during coronavirus

Continued health coverage, paid sick leave, financial wellness programs and more take the spotlight in wake of COVID-19.
By: | March 23, 2020 • 1 min read
Topics: Uncategorized

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Coronavirus isn’t just affecting employees’ physical health—it’s causing mental health issues in employees who are stressed, upset and anxious about the situation. Employer-provided mental health programs can make a positive impact, says Renee Schneider, vice president of clinical quality at Lyra Health.

“As employees are inundated with news related to coronavirus, from the World Health Organization declaring it a global pandemic to Walt Disney World closing, feelings of anxiety and stress are inevitable,” she says. “Mental health programs can help to normalize employees’ feelings, while also teaching them new skills for effectively managing distress.”

Related: Starbucks to offer therapy sessions to employees

Coaches, therapists and even apps can teach an employee who is feeling scared and overwhelmed strategies for managing increased stress, like use of relaxation techniques, means of self-soothing, or ways to challenge cognitive distortions, Schneider says.

“By helping employees to cope more effectively with their stress, mental health programs can increase employee productivity, which benefits both employers and employees, many of whom derive significant satisfaction from being successful at work,” she says.

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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.