WASHINGTON, D.C., May 20, 2021 – A recent national public opinion poll of U.S. adults by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), finds that over half of employees say their employers have become more accommodating to their mental health needs during the pandemic. However, slightly fewer employees than last year say they can talk openly about mental health at work.
The majority of employees working from home say they experienced negative mental health impacts, including isolation, loneliness and difficulty getting away from work at the end of the day.
“It’s not surprising that in light of the pandemic that mental health is on peoples’ and employers’ minds,” said APA President Vivian Pender, M.D. “What’s worrisome is that given this discussion, many people, particularly younger people, are still worried about retaliation if they take time off for mental health. This is stigma in action, and it has to stop.”
“The poll shows us that working from home, while it kept us safe from COVID-19 and brought some benefits, also meant many Americans felt lonely and isolated,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “As we shift back into our offices, or whatever alternatives are made available, I encourage business and organizational leaders to visit the APA Foundation’s Center for Workplace Mental Health, which has resources on ensuring employees’ mental well-being through COVID and beyond.”
Almost two-thirds of employees feel their employer offers sufficient mental health care resources and benefits (65%) and feel comfortable utilizing mental health services with their employer (64%). The responses were similar across age groups and among Hispanics, African Americans and whites.
Working from Home
More on the poll and workplace mental health
The full results of the poll are available here. The new findings come from an APA-sponsored online survey conducted March 26 - April 5, 2021, among a sample of 1,000 adults 18 years of age and older. The equivalent margin of error is +/-3.1 percentage points. Additional polling information from the 2021 poll is available here and information from polls in October 2020 and prior years are available here.
For organizations and businesses seeking help on supporting the mental health of their workforce, APA Foundation’s Center for Workplace Mental Health provides tools, resources and information, and has recently issued toolkits and webinars on COVID-19, remote work, and more. The Center recently released NOTICE. TALK. ACT.® at Work, an e-learning training for managers on supporting employees’ mental health needs.
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,400 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.