- Half of US workers don’t have mental health insurance, according to a new survey from the HR company Paychex.
- Paychex surveyed active employees and supervisors from industries like medicine, manufacturing, finance, and retail using an online survey.
- Workers who have irregular shifts or work the night shift are at greater risk for mental illness.
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American companies aren’t providing adequate mental health resources, workers say.
Over half of workers say their job is negatively impacting their mental health, according to a new survey from HR company Paychex.
Despite getting depressed or anxious from work, employers do little to combat the issue: 56.2% of employees rated their company’s mental health benefits as either “fair” or “poor,” and about half of workers said they don’t get mental health insurance. Plus, 45% of supervisors say they never received mental health training at work.
Paychex surveyed 996 active employees and 383 active supervisors using an online survey. The respondents ranged from high-paying industries like medicine and finance to lower-paying industries like retail and manufacturing.
The lack of resources might be causing workers to leave their jobs. About half of US millennials and 75% of Gen Zers have left a job because of mental health reasons, according to a recent study.
Suffering from a mental health problem leads to lower job performance and productivity, according to the CDC. Depression is associated with higher rates of unemployment, and it interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical tasks about 20% of the time.
Why work is causing mental health problems
The risk for getting depression from your job is especially high for people who work outside the typical 9-to-5. People who work irregular hours or the night shift are 33% more likely to have depression, according to a University of Exeter review of 28,438 worker reports on mental health.
The risk for mental health issues is especially hard for first responders and healthcare workers, who are expected to be on call at a moment’s notice during nights, said Ann Rogers, a professor at Emory University’s School of Nursing and sleep researcher.
A recent Huffington Post article detailed how EMTs and paramedics have higher chances of PTSD, depression, and suicide — conditions that persist even after retirement.
“Being a healthcare worker can be a high-stress job, but working the night shift, by being awake when you’re supposed to be asleep, makes it even harder,” Rogers told Business Insider.
Harassment and bullying at work can also cause mental health problems, according to the World Health Organization, issues that tend to plague female, racial minority, and LGBTQ workers more often.
Rogers said there aren’t medicines aside from sleep aids to help shift workers get better rest, though experts now say driving home at night wearing strong sunglasses or making dietary changes can help. Without enough mental health resources at work, WHO finds workers can’t adequately complete tasks — which could be why they leave their jobs.
“At this point we still have a lot of questions and we don’t have good treatment,” Rogers said.