BOSTON (Feb. 16, 2021) – SilverCloud Health, a leading digital mental health platform, today released its 2021 Employee Mental Health and Well-being Report, an up-to-date wide-ranging study examining the role of employers in providing expanded support to their employees to help curb the mental health crisis. The survey data show that many employees are struggling with reduced productivity due to stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that employees’ mental health symptoms are going unaddressed and becoming greater.
Traditional in-person mental health therapies aren’t adequate to address the widespread feelings of enhanced stress and anxiety across the population, given challenges with barriers to care and stigmas associated with seeking support for mental health disorders. Two-thirds of employees think their employer could be doing far more to support their mental health and wellbeing with additional resources and benefits during the pandemic. Nearly eight out of ten want self-guided mental health tools and support accessible on-demand via internet-based devices. The data highlights a chronic, ongoing issue of employee mental health challenges being unmet, leading to absenteeism and lost productivity, which have been exacerbated during COVID-19 but will still be a challenge after the pandemic is over. The challenges are most acute among those with depression and anxiety, 81% of whom have experienced a greater need for mental health treatment during COVID-19.
“Nearly a year into the pandemic, employees feel like they are truly lacking the tools and resources to help them manage their feelings of stress and anxiety. These feeling are compounded further as a result of things like parental guilt, pandemic fatigue and the challenge of trying to remain productive in an almost all remote environment,” said Ken Cahill, CEO of SilverCloud Health. “With mental health symptoms going unaddressed, this will also impact employers directly in the form of reduced productivity, turnover and absenteeism. As affirmed in the recently published Banbury Forum for Digital Mental Health Treatment statement, digital mental health treatments have proven to be effective interventions and can overcome access and provider shortages.”
SilverCloud commissioned the survey through a third-party research firm. The participants included 1,288 U.S.-based adults who are employed full-time. Researchers achieved U.S. Census balance among different age groups, income levels, races, genders, relationship status, geographical regions and other factors to ensure a diverse and representative sample.
Key survey findings include:
- Employees not receiving needed care: 33% said they do not have access to mental health benefits through their employer. Among those who don’t use their benefits, two of the top reasons cited were not being aware of what is included in their mental health benefits, and not being sure how to access the benefits.
- Employee productivity impacted: 29% of employees said they were “not productive at all” or “less productive” during COVID-19, a jump from the 16% who said they were “not productive at all” or “less productive” before COVID-19.
- A need for employer support: 78% want mental health services and support they can access online, and 35% want access to online mental health professional services via text and chat.
- Heightened mental health challenges during COVID-19: 90% of respondents said that COVID-19 had contributed to an increase in their stress level. Another 30% said that they had experienced an increased need for mental health treatment during the pandemic.
Based on the fact that 38% of respondents reported missing time at work due to COVID-19-related stress, SilverCloud estimates that the time missed by these employees is equivalent to 6.7% of all hours worked, or an average of over a half hour per day for every employee. The survey recipients had average annual earnings of $87,000, which equates to losses of almost $5,800 per year for every employee. For an employer with 5,000 employees, this equates to 1,900 employees missing time due to stress, and is worth over $120,000 in lost productivity per day or over $28 million per year. The survey data suggest that implementing digital technologies that scale mental health services and tools across the continuum of mental health can generate significant return-on-investment and reduce these losses substantially.
SilverCloud recommends that employers explore options to implement digital mental health programs and services, accessible securely, privately and on-demand. SilverCloud recently released new program content called Money Worries, helping users better cope with financial distress. The content is available within SilverCloud’s Challenging Times program, which helps patients deal with COVID-19 related issues such as worry, sleep, bereavement, isolation and work-life balance.
SilverCloud Health has consistently demonstrated clinical improvement for those utilizing its treatment programs, with up to 65% of SilverCloud users exhibiting a significant decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms.
“The survey data point to a massive supply-demand problem in mental health with the reduced capacity for mental health service delivery,” said Derek Richards, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer at SilverCloud Health. “The gaps in employees’ mental health needs and the access to effective interventions is largely due to the barriers that keep many people from seeking care in traditional therapeutic settings. Digitally enabled mental health services are now a critical piece of the mental health infrastructure. These services can scale to support people across the spectrum of mental health challenges, driving better health outcomes, reducing the burden on the healthcare system, and empowering people to manage their own wellbeing.”
To access the full study, visit www.silvercloudhealth.com/us/landing-page/employers-ebook
About SilverCloud Health
SilverCloud Health is the world’s leading digital mental health company, enabling providers, health plans and employers to deliver clinically validated digital health/therapeutic care that improves outcomes, increases access and scale while reducing costs. The company’s multi-award-winning digital mental health platform is a result of over 18 years of clinical research with leading academic institutions. Today, SilverCloud is being used by over 300 organizations globally to meet their populations’ mental health needs. Global experts have deeply validated the platform through full randomized control trials and real-world data from over half a million SilverCloud users. The platform continues to lead the industry with its effectiveness, engagement and range of clinical programs that encompasses the spectrum of mental health needs. Learn more at www.silvercloudhealth.com.
Jill Gross for Matter Health