Growing Concerns About Workers’ Mental Health Emerge Among Employers, Survey Reveals

by Ella

An escalating number of employers are acknowledging the mounting mental health apprehensions within their workforce, as per a recent survey’s findings.


The Business Group on Health, a nonprofit organization representing large employers, disclosed that over three-quarters of major employers (77%) have witnessed a surge in mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders among their employees. An additional 16% of employers foresee a rise in mental health concerns.


This figure signifies a notable rise from the preceding year when only 44% of employers observed an uptick in mental health concerns among their staff. The Business Group on Health released the outcomes of this new survey during this week.


Ellen Kelsay, the President and CEO of the Business Group on Health, highlighted that employers will grapple with heightened mental health challenges.


“Our survey found that in 2024 and for the near future, employers will be acutely focused on addressing employees’ mental health needs while ensuring access and lowering cost barriers,” Kelsay stated in an official statement.

Employers are dedicating their attention to augmenting access to mental health services. This includes broadening services and exploring methods to reduce the financial burden associated with availing these services, according to the report.

Employers pointed out that cancer was the leading catalyst for elevated healthcare expenses. Some speculate this increase is attributed to delayed diagnoses due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few studies have established that cancer screenings were postponed during the pandemic.

The overwhelming majority of employers conveyed concerns about exorbitant drug prices. Approximately 92% expressed apprehensions about high-cost drugs in the developmental stage, and 91% voiced some degree of unease about the overall trends in pharmacy expenses.

Pharmacy expenditures have escalated, with the median percentage of healthcare expenditures on pharmaceuticals climbing from 21% in 2021 to 24% in 2022, according to the report.

While most employers still perceive value in telehealth services, the study also indicates that certain companies are less enthusiastic about virtual care than they were in the past.

Just under two-thirds of employers (64%) regarded virtual health as an indispensable element of their overarching strategy, a decline from the 85% recorded in 2021.

Some employers are expressing reservations about the lack of synchronization between telehealth providers and community-based healthcare professionals. Others are raising queries about the caliber of virtual care.

For 2024, employers revealed intentions to scrutinize the quality of their vendors and healthcare providers more closely, concerning aspects such as cost, quality, and return on investment. Employers are also advocating for increased transparency in terms of pricing and outcomes, as indicated by the survey.

Certain employers are indicating their pursuit of more transparent hospital rates.

The survey encompassed 152 prominent employers, representing a collective pool of over 19 million Americans. The survey was conducted between June 1 and July 18.


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