Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
Be Health Connected Blog
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   


View all (44) posts »

Pandemic Prompts Renewed Focus on Mental Health: What’s Your Plan?

Posted By Louise Probst, Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Employers increasingly see a need to address the emotional fallout of the coronavirus crisis, even as they focus on protecting their employees’ physical health. Improving resilience and emotional well-being is critical during these challenging times, which is why workplace mental health will be the spotlight of the 2020 BHC Summer Forum on July 29.


There is mounting evidence that Americans are experiencing COVID-19 as a serious threat to their mental health. A study by Express Scripts found that the use of prescription drugs to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia spiked between mid-February and mid-March of this year, with prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications alone rising 34%. Of the prescriptions issued during this period, more than three-quarters were new prescriptions. Just months into the pandemic, more than a third of households contacted by the Census Bureau reported symptoms of clinical anxiety or depression.


It’s clear that the pandemic is exacting a tremendous psychological toll, which can severely impact employee focus and retention. Many Americans worry that they or a loved one will get infected. Juggling work and childcare, fear of job loss, and loneliness are other common sources of stress. Experts say people with pre-existing mental health or substance use disorders are at increased risk.


Workplaces have diligently implemented new routines to prevent the spread of infection, with checklists that include social distancing, temperature checks, and a doubling down on disinfectant. Yet there is a gap in guidelines for navigating the pandemic’s psychological effects.


In fact, the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the cracks in our already fragile mental health system. Unfortunately, the workplace is often the last place where mental health is discussed. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), roughly 85% of employees' mental health conditions were undiagnosed or untreated before the virus struck. This despite estimates that mental health conditions cost employers more than $100 billion and 217 million lost workdays each year.  


Fortunately, there are many resources available for employers who want to step up and effectively support their employees, and the BHC’s 2020 Summer Forum is a great place to start. Join over 300 benefit and wellness leaders to learn about best practices for increasing awareness, decreasing stigma, and creating a culture of health. Featured speakers will include Dr. Charles Zorumski, Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine, and Mettie Spiess, CEO and Founder of A World Without Suicide. To learn more and to register for the virtual conference, please click here.


Warm regards,


Louise Y. Probst

BHC Executive Director


This post has not been tagged.

Share |
Permalink | Comments (0)
Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal