According to Mental Health Index: 24% Decline in Employee Focus Driven by 36% Increase in Risk of PTSD
Pandemic-fueled trauma hijacking workers’ focus
Key Mental Health Index Findings:
- Risk of PTSD has increased 36% since February, and is now 55% higher than pre-pandemic
- Sustained attention has decreased 24% since April and is now 59% lower than pre-pandemic
- Ages 60+: 125% worse when compared to April 2021
- Ages 20-39: 37% worse than one month ago
- Planning is trending down 8% in the past month
- Ages 60+: 30% worse when compared to April 2021
SAN FRANCISCO and WASHINGTON – June 17, 2021 – Employers beware – pandemic-fueled trauma is driving a dramatic decline in employee focus, especially among the nation’s youngest and oldest workers. According to the latest Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition, risk of PTSD is up 36% between February and May 2021 and is now 55% higher than pre-pandemic.
Lack of concentration is among the top symptoms of PTSD. So, it comes as no surprise that the Mental Health Index findings show that sustained attention has declined 24% since April and is now 59% lower than pre-pandemic levels. When comparing focus now to one month ago, employees ages 60+ show a 125% decline and those ages 20-39 reveal a 37% decline. Further, planning is trending down 8% in the past month. Findings indicate that planning has declined 30% among workers ages 60+ since April.
The Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition, powered by Total Brain, a mental health and brain performance self-monitoring and self-care 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.
“Employees returning to the workplace will bring with them the emotional trauma of the past year,” said Louis Gagnon, CEO, Total Brain. ”This trauma will likely manifest itself through a decline in productivity and job performance. Dialogue, empathy and a move to eliminate ambiguity in future plans has never been more important than now. It is what employees will need as we all navigate the path forward.”
Michael Thompson, National Alliance president and CEO, said “The environment of the past year will have a lasting impact on the emotional wellbeing of our organizations and our people. All of us are beginning to adjust as the workplace opens up but we will never be the same.”
According to Colleen McHugh, executive vice president of the American Health Policy Institute and strategic advisor for HR Policy Association, “Large employers appreciate that the wellbeing of their employees is a priority. Having this data helps to underscore the importance of understanding that employees continue to struggle with mental health challenges, and it will help employers with their evolving benefit strategies as they navigate the post-pandemic era and the transition to an in-person environment in the workplace.”
Daryl Tol, executive vice president, One Mind at Work said, “It is important that employers know what to look for, as it relates to the state of mental health among their employees, during the return to work. Having the resources and tools fully integrated into their business model, and ready to re-onboard the entire team as if new will be best practice.”
The full Mental Health Index results can be found here. For additional insights there will be a complimentary 30-minute webinar on Friday, June 18 at noon Eastern. Charles Lattarulo, director Health Minds at American Express, will be joining Evian Gordon, MD, PhD, chief medical officer, Total Brain, McHugh, Thompson and Tol for the discussion. Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_InKxTvGyR06EdzbBse7F9g
For more information, Mental Health in the COVID-19 Era: A Year in Review provides a month-by-month overview of the Mental Health Index data juxtaposed against the state of COVID-19 in the U.S. and around the world. Back to Work: How to Prepare for Five Mental Health Challenges Facing Returning Workers offers keen insights for employers in the process of opening long-shuttered doors.
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 latest Mental Health Index were taken weekly from April 19 to May 28, 2021.
About Total Brain: Total Brain is based in San Francisco and publicly listed in Sydney, AUS (ASX:TTB). Total Brain is a mental health and brain performance self-monitoring and self-care platform that has more than 1 million registered users. Benefits for employers and payers include better mental healthcare access, lower costs and higher productivity. totalbrain.com
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. nationalalliancehealth.org
About One Mind: 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. onemindatwork.org
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. hrpolicy.org.
American Health Policy Institute: American Health Policy Institute is a non-partisan non-profit think tank, started by the HR Policy Foundation, that 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 are able to not only bend the cost curve, but actually break it, by keeping health care cost inflation in line with general inflation. americanhealthpolicy.org.
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