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Fall Malaise Sets in; Americans’ Risk of Depression Up 106% with Summer’s End

According to the Mental Health Index, cognitive function hi-jacked by increases in depression, stress, and anxiety

SAN FRANCISCO and WASHINGTON – November 1, 2022 – According to the Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition, fall malaise is setting in. Americans’ risk of depression soared 106% in September when compared to the peak of the sunshine season. Further, data shows that a rise in depression coupled with a 40% increase in anxiety and 16% increase in stress since August is impacting U.S. workers’ ability to be decisive and meet complex business goals. In other words, employees’ all-important planning capacity dropped a consequential 16% – hi-jacked by the downward mental health spiral.

“Employers take note,” warned Matthew Mund, CEO, Total Brain. “Our data shows that a seasonal pattern of mental health improvement in summer months is consistently followed by emotional and cognitive decline during a season marked by the onset of shorter, darker days. Now is the time to increase communications about the availability of employee-sponsored mental health resources and tools and engage workers in robust discussions about emotional wellbeing.”  

The Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition, powered by Total Brain, a mental health monitoring and support platform, is distributed in partnership with the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, One Mind at Work, and the HR Policy Association and its American Health Policy Institute.

“Mental health and stress are not just a product of the pandemic,” said Michael Thompson, National Alliance president and CEO. “Employers need to better understand and anticipate the diverse factors that impact the mental wellbeing of their workforce and then try to stay ahead of these trends in their organizational and program strategies.“

Margaret Faso, director, Health Care Research and Policy of HR Policy Association said, “Recognizing the seasonal pattern of mental health risk is one of the many ways Total Brain data is so helpful to employers. Planning for the ups and downs allows employers to be prepared with communication about the resources employees need knowing that programs need to be used to be effective.”

According to Katy Riddick, One Mind at Work, “We are seeing an important trend among leaders – looking beyond our current environment and the challenges it presents to mental health to a more intentional effort to foster belonging and a sense of purpose in workplaces. We know that this is the long-term strategy that builds more mentally healthy organizations.”

The full Q2 2022 Mental Health Index results can be found here. Hear what the experts have to say about the Mental Health Index data.

Methodology: The Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition contains data drawn from a weekly randomized sample of 500 working Americans taken from a larger universe of Total Brain users. The Index is NOT a survey or a poll. Data is culled from neuroscientific brain assessments using standardized digital tasks and questions from the Total Brain platform. Participants include workers from all walks of life and regions, job levels, occupations, industries, and types of organizations (public vs. private). The brain assessments used to compile the Mental Health Index were taken weekly from the first week of February 2020 until the week ending September 25, 2022, inclusive. The two weeks from June 13 to June 26 (inclusive) were compared to the last two weeks of September (from September 12 to 25, inclusive) to evaluate the changes that occurred in data trends in the last three months from June to September 2022. Changes since the pre-pandemic baseline (beginning of February 2020)  to September 2022 were also evaluated.

About Total Brain Limited (ASX: TTB): Total Brain Limited is an applied, integrative neuroscience company, based in San Francisco and Sydney, that has developed and offers Total Brain, a mental health monitoring and support platform powered by the world’s largest standardized brain database. Its SaaS platform has helped more than one million registered users to-date scientifically measure and optimize their brain capacities while managing the risk of common mental conditions. Benefits for providers include improved patient outcomes, tracking of evidence-based outcomes across the continuum of care, and a reduction in clinician fatigue. Benefits for populations and payers include better mental healthcare access, lower costs, and higher productivity. For more information, please visit  and follow on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook

About the National Alliance: The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions (National Alliance) is the only nonprofit, purchaser-led organization with a national and regional structure dedicated to driving health and healthcare value across the country. Its members represent private and public sector, nonprofit, and Taft-Hartley organizations, and more than 45 million Americans spending over $300 billion annually on healthcare.

About One Mind at Work: Launched in 2017, One Mind at Work is a global coalition of leaders from diverse sectors who have joined together with the goal of transforming approaches to mental health and addiction. One Mind at Work now includes more than 90 global employers and 18 research and content partners. The coalition covers more than 8 million people under its charter.

About HR Policy Association: HR Policy Association is the lead organization representing Chief Human Resource Officers at major employers. The Association consists of over 390 of the largest corporations doing business in the United States and globally, and these employers are represented in the organization by their most senior human resource executive. Collectively, their companies employ more than 10 million employees in the United States, over nine percent of the private sector workforce, and 20 million employees worldwide. These senior corporate officers participate in the Association because of their commitment to improving the direction of human resource policy.

About American Health Policy Institute: American Health Policy Institute is a non-partisan non-profit think tank, started by the HR Policy Foundation, which examines the practical implications of health policy changes through the lens of large employers. The Institute examines the challenges employers face in providing health care to their employees and recommends policy solutions to promote the provision of affordable, high-quality, employer-based health care. The Institute serves to provide thought leadership grounded in the practical experience of America’s largest employers. Their mission is to develop impactful strategies to ensure that those purchasing health care can not only bend the cost curve, but break it, by keeping health care cost inflation in line with general inflation.

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Cary Conway
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