Headspace Health today announced new data revealing the perceptions of CEOs and workers on mental health. The Fourth Annual Workforce Attitudes Toward Mental Health Report, based on a global survey fielded between February and March 2022, compiled data from more than 500 CEOs and 5,400 full-time employees in the U.S., Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom to examine workplace issues driving stress and burnout among CEOs and their employees.

 

COVID-19 related stress among some workers has started to fall, however, employees are increasingly feeling stress from burnout and challenges with management and leadership. 

  • 83% of CEOs and 70% of employees report missing at least one day of work due to stress, burnout and mental health challenges. Only 28% of employees report feeling “very engaged” in their work.
  • Top global stressors for employees are COVID-19, burnout due to increased workload or lack of staff, poor work-life balance, and poor management and leadership.
  • More women (40%) feel burned out at work than male (33%) or non-binary employees (34%).
  • Non-binary employees report a wider range of stressors at work than their male and female counterparts.

 

Employers are pulling back on mental health programs at the exact moment employees need and want them most.

  • 94% of CEOs think they do enough to support workforce mental health, while only 67% of employees feel the same way. In the U.S., this gap has persisted year over year.
  • 71% of workers say their company increased focus on mental health following COVID-19, but only 25% say they have kept that focus in the last year.
  • Globally, more than half of employees have tried a technology-based mental health service, with blue collar workers and CEOs reporting the highest usage rates.
  • Use of digital mental health tools among U.S. employees, such as remote-based therapy and meditation apps, has doubled since 2020.

 

An increasingly diverse, multi-generational workforce expects quality, accessible, and culturally competent mental healthcare from their employers.

  • 76% of workers agree that it’s important that their company’s mental health benefits are based on methods that licensed behavioral health or medical professionals agree are effective.
  • There’s a big gap between CEO and employee perceptions regarding how easy it is to access mental health benefits. 87% of CEOs say it’s “very easy” or “easy” while only 66% of employees agree.
  • 89% of CEOs see the inextricable link between DEI and mental health, and 88% of employees agree that it’s important that they bring their “whole self” to work.
  • When it comes to working parents, 85% of CEOs agree that companies have a responsibility to help employees manage the emotional and mental well-being of their children.

 

Organisational leaders are ready and willing to lead the charge towards better mental health, but they need support balancing both their own wellbeing as well as their team’s emotional and functional capacity.

  • 91% of leaders take advantage of mental health support at least occasionally.
  • 60% of CEOs use their company’s mental health benefits regularly compared with 37% of employees.
  • One in four employees list poor leadership and management” as a top stressor at work, with U.S. employees reporting this as an increased stressor compared to 2021 and 2020.
  • More than 80% of employees believe that it is the employer’s responsibility to help with mental health, and 82% want their leaders to ask them how they are doing and actually care about the answer.

 

“Employee mental health is a business continuity issue that every leader needs to address, particularly as many employees return to the office and experience new day-to-day stressors,” said Russell Glass, CEO of Headspace Health. “To attract and retain talent, it’s critical that leaders destigmatise mental health from the top-down and meet the growing expectations of their employees for high-quality mental health benefits.”

“As Headspace Health’s research shows, it’s more important than ever that leaders prioritise employee mental health support, particularly as many workers return to the office and adjust to new routines,” said Keith Saucier, senior director of global benefits at Mattel. “At Mattel, we’re proud to collaborate with Headspace Health to support the emotional health and wellbeing of our employees and provide them with tangible tools to reduce stress and build resilience.”

For additional data and commentary from mental health clinicians, experts, and thought leaders, download the full Fourth Annual Workforce Attitudes Toward Mental Health Report.