2022 Workforce Mental Health Trends Forecast

2022 Workforce Mental Health Trends Forecast

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1. Employer-provided mental health support will continue to rise to meet soaring demand

As workers’ mental health challenges have become ever more apparent during the pandemic, so too have their expectations of mental support from their employers.  This is not lost on HR professionals: 60 percent of the 250 employee benefits leaders in Lyra’s latest survey said employee expectations around mental health support rose over 

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1. Employer-provided mental health support will continue to rise to meet soaring demand

the past year, and the vast majority (92 percent) said providing mental health support became a higher priority for their company over the past year.

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2. Flexible work policies that benefit mental health will become a mainstay

In 2022, we expect companies to give employees expanded options and control over how they work, with the aim of boosting workforce morale, engagement, and retention. Over the past two years, both employers and employees got a crash course on the importance of flexible work. While the worst of these upheavals may be behind us, 

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2. Flexible work policies that benefit mental health will become a mainstay

people now value flexible work more than ever—in fact, 69 percent of employees in our latest survey said flexible work policies such as remote work and work-from-home days are “very important” to them.

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3. More attention to the mental health needs of kids and families

Over the past year and a half, employers have witnessed COVID-19’s mental health fallout not only for workers but also their children and families. While nearly one in five children had a mental health condition pre-pandemic, that number appears to have risen. Given the need to retain working parents who might otherwise leave their jobs, in 

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3. More attention to the mental health needs of kids and families

2022 we expect to see employers offer more resources to support the mental health of employees’ kids and spouses as part of a holistic approach to workforce well-being.

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4. A greater focus on destigmatizing serious or complex mental health conditions

As the prevalence and severity of mental health challenges have soared since the pandemic began, so too has the need to combat stigma against serious mental illness in the workforce.  Mental health-related stigma is a common barrier to care, and going without treatment can mean even bigger repercussions for employees 

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4. A greater focus on destigmatizing serious or complex mental health conditions

dealing with serious conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or severe depression.    To combat this, we anticipate that employers in 2022 will amplify support and resources for workers grappling with more acute mental health needs, including the increasingly common challenges of substance use disorders and suicidal thoughts.

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5. More mental health literacy and education

With an increasingly distributed workforce and the aforementioned rise in serious mental illnesses, people leaders need to be more vigilant for signs that an employee is in distress.  To equip managers with the skills to do this, we expect more companies to offer mental health-related training 

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5. More mental health literacy and education

and development opportunities to their workforces in 2022.

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6. A shift toward building workplace structures that prevent burnout

More than one in three (32 percent) employees in our recent survey say they have experienced burnout over the past year, and 22 percent of employee benefits leaders surveyed recognize burnout as an issue affecting their company’s workforce. As employers navigate how best to stem the tide of resignations and attract new 

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6. A shift toward building workplace structures that prevent burnout

workers, we predict that more companies in 2022 will take proactive steps to tackle organizational shortfalls that contribute to burnout.

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