Lyra Health Study Shows Workplace Mental Health Benefits Falling Short
Nearly half of U.S. employees experienced reduced work capacity due to mental health concerns
February 25, 2021 — 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time, BURLINGAME, Calif. — Lyra Health, the leading provider of comprehensive mental health care benefits for employers, today announced the findings of its first annual State of Mental Health at Work report, which revealed that employer-provided mental health care benefits are falling short of employees’ escalating needs. The report, based on a survey of approximately 300 U.S. HR and benefits leaders and 1,000 full-time employees, points to mental health care accessibility, quality of care, and cultural stigma as continuing barriers to employee wellness.
Key findings from the survey include the following:
- Employees report worsening mental health. A quarter of employee respondents shared that their mental health has declined over the past year, with diagnosable mental health conditions doubling. Employees believe it is having an impact on productivity; 48% of workers surveyed reported their mental health has diminished their capacity to work over the past year.
- Employees face challenges accessing care through existing health care benefits programs. Despite the significant need for mental health care, 56% of employees with a diagnosable condition report they did not receive mental health treatment in the last year. Of those who did find care, nearly half (45%) paid out of pocket for it. Another 31% weren’t sure if they had mental health benefits at all.
- The value of mental health care is recognized by employees and employers. Most employees (71%) today say that when considering a new job, it’s somewhat important that prospective employers offer mental health benefits. Nearly 3 in 4 employers surveyed plan to boost investment in behavioral health benefits this year.
- Employers struggle to evaluate effectiveness of care. Only 50% of HR and benefits leaders believe their mental health benefits effectively address employees’ needs. Just 21% of HR and benefits leaders use demonstrated clinical outcomes (symptom reduction and recovery with care) as a measure of program success, with most today relying on productivity measures and proprietary surveys.
- HR and benefits leaders are underestimating mental health stigma. Nearly 90% of surveyed HR and benefits professionals say mental health is discussed at their workplace. Employees disagree, with only 49% reporting that mental health is discussed at work. On average, approximately 40% of workers surveyed report discomfort speaking about their mental health with peers and managers.
“Nearly half of the employees Lyra surveyed reported that mental health issues diminished their capacity to work over the past year, while 40% of employees said they were uncomfortable talking about mental health at work,” said Joe Grasso, PhD, a clinical psychologist and clinical director of partnerships at Lyra. “Effective mental health care is vital for productive organizations, especially as we continue to deal with a global pandemic. Human resources and benefits leaders can have a significant and lasting impact on their organizations by changing the conversation in their companies, and championing access to mental health care for their people and teams.”
For more report findings and best practices to support workforce mental health and well-being, download the Lyra Health State of Mental Health at Work 2021 report. For more information about Lyra Health’s innovative mental health benefits for employers, visit lyrahealth.com.
About Lyra Health
Lyra Health, a leading provider of innovative mental health benefits for more than 2 million U.S. employees and dependents, is transforming mental health care by creating a frictionless experience for members, providers, and employers. Using matching technology and an innovative digital platform, Lyra quickly connects companies and their employees — plus spouses and children — to world-class therapists, mental health coaches, and personalized medication prescribing. Leading employers partner with Lyra to deliver tailored, value-driven mental health benefits to their people. With Lyra, benefits leaders can offer employees fast, reliable access to providers who practice evidence-based mental health care treatments. For more information, visit lyrahealth.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.