New survey reveals 4 our of 5 US organizations expect employee mental health to improve in 2023

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Research from Koa Health reveals organizations are more openly and visibly practicing mental wellbeing habits in the workplace and a sharp uptake in usage of employee mental health benefits in the last year.

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Research from Koa Health reveals organizations are more openly and visibly practicing mental wellbeing habits in the workplace.

“Emotional resilience, awareness and destigmatization, better relationships—these are all preventative measures in mental health that make employees feel secure, and that they have purposeful longevity at their organization. And those are the outcomes that will ultimately impact your bottom line."

Koa Health, a leading global provider of digital mental healthcare solutions, today published new survey results on 2023 mental health trends, revealing HR’s perceptions of employee mental health in the US amid continued socio-economic uncertainty and their supporting organizational investments and strategies for next year.

Koa Health’s research, conducted in partnership with https://3gem.com/3Gem Research and Insights, found that more than half of employers say they plan to talk more about mental health in company communications and a further 58% say they will openly and visibly practice mental wellbeing habits in the workplace. Nearly all (94%) of US organizations are offering their employees mental health benefits of some kind and 75% of respondents report that their employees are using mental health benefits more than last year. With increased benefit utilization and momentum to destigmatize these issues in the workplace, businesses are optimistic about employee mental wellbeing as they go into the new year, with 79% believing mental health will improve in 2023.

When asked about the desired outcomes of such support, quality of life (65%), workplace productivity (64%) and workplace safety (48%) were cited as the top three.

Despite an evolving appetite to support mental health and an optimistic sentiment toward the outcomes of such programs, the research also found that although nearly all companies offer mental health benefits, mental health is not a cultural priority for more than a third (37%) of US organizations. Further, only 45% of executive leadership teams are expected to authorize additional spending on employee mental health in 2023.

With recent Gallup research showing that 57% of employees that report their workplace has a negative impact on their mental health are unable to confirm the existence of easily accessible mental health support services in their workplace, it becomes apparent that despite ongoing efforts and clear intentions to better support employee mental health, there continues to be a gap between employer perception and employees’ lived experience.

While there is misalignment on priorities at the highest levels of organizations, HR leaders have a strong pulse on what is affecting mental health at work the most.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of employers feel personal financial concerns currently have a significant negative impact on employee mental health, closely followed by workplace culture (50%), which nods to the work environment, workload, flexible hours and relationships with managers. A hopeful majority of organizations (94%) do have in place plans to equip managers to recognize and deal with employee mental health issues next year, with 64% planning training on mental health awareness and half (51%) providing access to aggregated data to help them understand their team’s mental wellbeing.

Jenn Gendron, CCO of Koa Health comments “It’s great to see the focus of employee wellbeing initiatives shift to results that are more aligned with how people live and work, as well as long-term success for individuals and companies. Emotional resilience, awareness and destigmatization, better relationships—these are all preventative measures in mental health that make employees feel secure, and that they have purposeful longevity at their organization. And those are the outcomes that will ultimately impact your bottom line.

Gendron advises that “When there is a disconnect or gap in understanding, it’s difficult for employees to feel heard and access support. If you have them in place, you may start getting signals in engagement surveys or in interactions with employees that they need mental health programs to mitigate these feelings. However, not everyone has a diagnosable mental health condition, and therapy and traditional approaches are not always the right solution. To build a culture of wellbeing, you need to provide space for them to reflect and talk about their experiences and feelings to better understand them. They can benefit from accessible digital tools that help them learn about and understand feelings, teach them good self-care habits and help build resilience.”

Read the executive summary to gain more insights on 2023 workplace mental health trends.

Key takeaways:

  • Protecting employees’ quality of life is the #1 reason employers are investing in mental health support
  • 75% of respondents say that employees are using their mental health benefits somewhat or substantially more than last year
  • While 79% of US employers expect mental health to improve in 2023, only 45% of executive leadership teams are expected to authorize additional spending on employee mental health
  • Almost all (94%) of organizations have in place plans to equip managers to recognize and deal with employee mental health issues next year

*Results are based on an independent online survey conducted by 3Gem Media Group Ltd on behalf of Koa Health; n=250 senior HR managers in The UK and n=250 senior HR managers in the US, in organizations of 10+ employees, were surveyed from 18th to 24th November 2022.

About Koa Health
Koa Health is the leading global provider offering evidence-based, personalized, integrated solutions and services that deliver mental health for everyone. Available to more than 3 million users worldwide, Koa Health addresses a vast spectrum of mental health needs – from improving wellbeing to supporting treatment for the most prolific disorders. Backed by investors such as Telefónica, a consortium advised by Ancora Finance Group, Wellington Partners Life Sciences, and MTIP, Koa Health leverages deep clinical expertise, research and technology to deliver effective and accessible care that adapts to users’ unique circumstances, leading to lasting behavior change and positive health outcomes. Koa Health partners with employers, health plans, health systems and providers around the world with its headquarters in the Netherlands and operations in Boston, London and Barcelona.
For more information, please visit http://www.koahealth.com

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Hailey McDonald
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