In recent years, society has made great strides in decreasing the stigma around mental health issues while bringing to light the importance of prioritizing mental health. But despite the progress, we still have a long way to go.
May is an important month for the movement because it is Mental Health Awareness Month, observed by Mental Health America (MHA). Since 1949, Mental Health Month has helped propel issues into the mainstream and created a better understanding of mental illness.
On the MHA website, you can access resources and a toolkit to help you gain basic information about mental health and common mental health conditions and what you can do if you are struggling with your mental health.
This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Month is “Back to Basics,” aimed at equipping Americans with the essentials of mental health education. Having the essentials is important since the pandemic placed a strain on mental health across the globe. Covid-19 created isolation, uncertainty, financial stress, grief, and the interruption of everyday life. In fact, the World Health Organization reported that the pandemic increased anxiety and depression by 25 percent.
The pandemic has also caused mental health and wellness to become essential to employee benefits. Companies now should provide employees with access to mental health resources and personal care activities if they want to remain competitive in attracting and retaining top talent.
How important are health and wellness programs?
For recruiting, they can make a company be in demand for top talent. When selecting an employer, 87 percent of people consider health and wellness, according to Forbes. Your employees expect wellness programs, with 59 percent telling Johns Hopkins they want their companies to offer activities and programs that will improve their health.
There’s a significant demand for wellness based on the pandemic. An incredible 53 percent of employees have said they experienced either depression or anxiety because of the pandemic, according to the Kaiser Foundation. In another survey, 72 percent of employees told Limeade they were burned out. The stress on employees has caused people to increase their use of alcohol, drugs, vaping, smoking, and other terrible activities for their health.
A great way to help employees out is to create a wellness program. Edenred’s Lifestyle Spending Accounts covers a variety of wellness benefits that impact mental health.
Mental Health Awareness Month is a great time to start a wellness program if your company doesn’t have one. Here are two programs from Edenred’s Lifestyle Spending Accounts that can help employees with their mental health.
1 – Physical wellness
Physical wellness is often a capstone of wellness programs. Cardiovascular and strength training, dieting, and other activities that promote health and decrease stress levels are important for anyone trying to improve their health. Lifestyle Spending Accounts give employees access to gym and fitness memberships and offer the flexibility to purchase exercise and athletic equipment, camping gear, and more.
Physical activity has a big impact on mental health. The John W. Brick Foundation reviewed more than 1,000 studies looking at the relationship between physical activity and mental health. Of the studies included in their report, 89% found that physical activity positively affects mental health.
2 – Financial wellness
Managing stress is a crucial component of any wellness plan. A great way to do that is to help employees get control of their finances. Financial stress is the top stress for employees, according to PwC. When stress gets bad, it becomes a work distraction for people, which causes less productivity. It ranks higher than family, politics, and work, according to Purdue University.
Innovative businesses have added financial wellness to their benefits package. Employees can get the help they need through online courses, counseling, having access to financial planners, workshops, and more.
Offering financial wellness resources to your employees through Lifestyle Spending Accounts can help them improve their money management skills, work towards resolving current financial problems, and develop a better relationship with money. These benefits can reduce stress, improving both mental and physical wellbeing.
Offer Lifestyle Spending Accounts as a company benefit
Prioritizing mental health in your company empowers your employees to live a healthier lifestyle, enjoy a good work-life balance, and pursue a fulfilling and successful career at your company.
Making mental health a priority by adding a wellness program also has positive impacts on your workplace, including:
- Improved morale
- Lower absentee rates
- Lower turnover rates
- Higher productivity
- Attracting top candidates in the job market
If you want to attract top talent for your open positions and keep these employees happy and healthy once they join your company, offering Lifestyle Spending Accounts in your benefits package is a great way to do that.
Schedule a meeting today, and we’ll be happy to review all your options with you.