Navigate the future of global workforce well-being with our 2024 State of Workforce Mental Health report.
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Lyra Health Study Finds COVID-19 Delayed Trauma Response Taking a Growing Toll on Workers’ Mental Health Worldwide

Research shows rise in complex mental health challenges, including severe depression, addiction, and suicidal ideation

Two-thirds of U.S. workers report mental health issues impact job performance

March 12, 2024 — 08:00 AM ET, BURLINGAME, Calif. — Lyra Health, the leading provider of innovative Workforce Mental Health solutions for employers, today announced the findings of its 2024 State of Workforce Mental Health report. The fourth annual study revealed that two-thirds of the U.S. workforce experienced mental health stressors that negatively impacted their work performance in 2023, while 87 percent of U.S. employees faced at least one mental health challenge in the past year.

The report analyzed responses from more than 3,400 employees across seven countries, along with input from 250 benefits leaders at organizations with global workforces.

While organizations have made progress in promoting and supporting mental health care for mild and moderate issues such as stress and anxiety, the study also points to a rise in complex mental health conditions since 2021. The number of employees reporting thoughts of suicide has more than doubled during this period, while 11 percent of U.S. employees said they experienced severe/chronic depression or anxiety, a more than 80 percent increase from 2021. One of the drivers of these increases is the delayed trauma response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Stress and anxiety are typically anticipated responses and directly attributable to the onset of large-scale events,” said Dr. Alethea Varra, senior vice president of clinical care, Lyra Health. “However, the full impact of delayed trauma after a global pandemic doesn’t always present immediately in its full intensity. It’s only later, often when the immediate threat has subsided, that the cumulative toll of sustained stress and uncertainty begins to manifest in more complex conditions like chronic depression, substance use disorder, and suicidal thoughts.”

Solving for more severe mental health concerns among an employee population requires a different approach from most traditional mental health benefits. Employee mental health frequently falls to managers or HR teams to notice and respond to people with severe needs such as substance or alcohol use disorder, severe depression, or suicidal ideation. For organizations, it’s crucial to ensure easy access to complex care for those individuals and their families and empower managers and HR leaders with comprehensive training, support, and resources, enabling them to address such needs with confidence and competence.

Mental health also drives the potential for employee turnover, with 1 in 5 respondents sharing that they are considering leaving their company predominantly due to mental health challenges, such as stress, anxiety, burnout, and depression that interfered with their ability to do their job.

Creating a Culture of Organizational Mental Wellness 
Lyra’s 2024 State of Workforce Mental Health report also revealed the second most significant factor negatively impacting U.S. workers’ mental health is work-related stress and burnout. While the report highlights a positive trend among employers, with 84 percent of benefits leaders prioritizing a mentally healthy work culture and 95 percent emphasizing individual mental health support over the past year, the findings also underscore how working conditions are a driving factor in employees’ mental health and well-being.

Nearly 65 percent of employees said that improving their work conditions would boost their job satisfaction—corroborating Lyra’s data that shows a healthier workplace enhances employee retention and business results.

“The solution is not to train individuals to be more resilient or treat burnout after it’s occurred; it’s about addressing work-related distress at the source by ensuring that workplaces prevent needless harm and that jobs are crafted in ways that enable people to be healthy and productive,” said Dr. Joe Grasso, vice president of workforce mental health, Lyra Health. “Companies aren’t responsible for eliminating work stress entirely. Instead, they should identify aspects of work that pose risk to employee mental health and consult with their people on needed changes to work design, job environment, and other workplace supports. That is an employer’s most direct responsibility to employee mental health, and it’s the leading way to protect the wellbeing of the entire workforce.”

Additional 2024 State of Workforce Mental Health Findings

  • 55 percent of U.S. employees reported they supported a child in their care under 18 who struggled with their mental health in 2023, more than double the percentage of workers who said the same the year prior
  • One in four U.S. workers said their mental health declined in 2023
  • 65 percent of U.S. employees reported that their mental health impacted their ability to do their jobs in 2023, a 35 percent increase from 2020
  • 7 percent of U.S. employees reported that mental health stressors prevented them from working on one or more occasions this year, a 75 percent increase from 2022
  • 46 percent of U.S. employees reported their mental health challenges made them less focused at work, and 36 percent said they were less productive
  • 35 percent of UK employees and 34 percent of employees in Canada reported their mental health declined in 2023, the steepest decline amongst the seven countries surveyed
  • 66 percent of U.S. supervisors acknowledged that factors like role clarity and recognition can positively affect team members’ performance

Learn How To Cultivate a Mentally Healthy Workforce
Dr. Joe Grasso, Lyra’s vice president of workforce transformation, and Dr. Alethea Varra, vice president of clinical care, will host a webinar on March 28, 2024, at 11:00 AM PT/2:00 PM ET to discuss the key findings of this year’s survey and practical ways companies can cultivate healthier teams and grow stronger, more prosperous organizations. Register here.

Download the full 2024 State of Workforce Mental Health Report
For more insight into the top workforce mental health challenges and to learn how today’s most successful benefit leaders from companies like AT&T are cultivating a more mentally healthy workforce, access the full 2024 State of the Workforce Mental Health Report here.

About Lyra Health
Lyra Health is the leading provider of Workforce Mental Health benefits, available to more than 17 million people globally. Lyra is transforming access to life-changing mental health care using AI-powered provider matching, personalized support, and a digital platform to deliver evidenced-based support for individuals and teams. Lyra quickly connects members to the largest dedicated global network of evidenced-based mental health providers and well-being tools, to address every mental health need and deliver positive outcomes across race and ethnicity. Independent peer-reviewed research confirms that Lyra’s transformative care model helps people recover twice as fast with lasting improvement and reduced overall health care claims costs for participants by approximately $2,300 per participant per year. For more information about Lyra Health’s Workforce Mental Health benefits for employers, visit

12 of March 2024 - 5 min read
Dyani Ghadiri [email protected] (650) 240-3240

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