The Future of Mental Health at Work
If I had to guess which category of employer benefits has progressed the most over the past couple of years, I'd say it's mental health. I predict that prioritizing the mental health of all employees is the way of the future, and I hope to see more companies embracing mental help support as a focus in the coming years.
Having worked in the People field (less referred to now as the HR field) for over 20 years, I've witnessed a lot of growth and modernization in employer benefits—though they’re far from the ideal state. In the future, I look forward to seeing many of the new trends gain traction, including customization of benefits to fulfill peoples’ individual needs, parental gender equity, and adjustments for a working world that doesn't revolve around the office. And as a passionate Dashlane user (even before I joined the company), I hope to see organizations continue to grow their culture of security, too.
But for today, let’s focus on mental health. Without taking care of our mental health, we cannot be happy, efficient, or collaborate effectively with those we work with. If we don’t prioritize mental health at work, we could be sacrificing productivity, fulfilling relationships with our coworkers, and, most importantly, our happiness.
The state of mental health at work
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, nearly 1 in 5 adults will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year. And the National Library of Medicine states that 46% will have one sometime in their life. Some believe mental health issues at the workplace are a pandemic-era trend that should wane as the pandemic does, but recent workplace trend data shows we have not returned to pre-pandemic stats. In fact, some statistics have grown more worrying: 11% of those surveyed felt lonely and isolated pre-pandemic, but that number has grown to 19% as of October 2022.
Why businesses should support the mental health of those who work there
As we often say about our Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging initiatives, we support the cause because it’s simply the right thing to do. You can also look through the lens of what might benefit the bottom line—there’s plenty of data on the benefits of mental health support in the workplace. For instance, did you know that 8 out of 10 job hunters now look for workplaces that support mental health? And since 86% of businesses surveyed in Mercer’s Global Talent Trends report offer mental health benefits, the trend is clearly being embraced.
Awareness is another reason why mental health should be discussed in the workplace. The CDC recommends the workplace as an effective place to promote awareness about mental health. Some argue the stigma around mental health is the most significant barrier to people getting the support they need. People are often hindered from improving their mental health because there is often a lack of understanding of what mental health is and isn’t. Similarly, negative preconceptions people might have been taught about sharing their own mental health struggles can discourage those who need it from seeking help.
Speaking often about mental health at work and sharing aggregate data about what percentage of people in the workplace have used mental health services makes people feel comfortable prioritizing their own mental health. And that doesn’t always mean therapy—it can mean learning how to be more mindful of your own emotional needs and finding ways to better take care of them.
What mental health at Dashlane looks like
One of the main ways we support mental health at Dashlane is by offering a dedicated international mental health benefit. 53% of people working at Dashlane have used the benefits via Spring Health, whether that be using Spring Health’s website to take an online assessment of their current mental health, listening to a mindfulness exercise, or signing up for a session with a life coach or a therapist. People at Dashlane have attended over 200 sessions to date. We also offer Spring Health coverage to dependents over the age of 13.
It’s also important to note that people with marginalized identities often report higher rates of mental health challenges. As part of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging initiatives, we do our best to ensure everyone feels they belong at Dashlane, and that includes visible normalization and support regarding mental health challenges.
While accessible therapy and mindfulness apps are direct mental health benefits, there are also indirect initiatives that strongly support employee mental health. This includes equal parental leave, which is another benefit we are proud to offer at Dashlane.
Hope for the future
I believe workplaces are in the process of a big shift. The field is moving from a world of well-intentioned leaders offering two weeks’ vacation for burnout or depression to a workplace in which comprehensive mental health benefits are offered, promoted, and discussed to eliminate stigma and uncertainty.