Over Half of U.S. Workers Continue to Feel Mentally Unwell and Require Time Away From Work


New research from employee benefits provider Unum shows over half (56%) of U.S. workers, primarily Millennials and Gen Z, felt mentally unwell in the previous year.

Additionally, 42% of employees said they needed to take time off from work to deal with their mental health.

Experts say the combination of health concerns and work pressures during the pandemic caused widespread mental health problems that will reverberate far into the future.

Among U.S. workers, Unum research found: 70% of employees suggest there’s room for improvement for their employers to reduce the stigma around mental health all year-round.

Nearly one third (30%) say their employer does not do a good job of promoting mental health resources or offerings. Forty-two percent are more likely to seek mental wellbeing support only in a crisis, rather than seeking help proactively. One in three (35%) identify cost of services as the biggest deterrent when seeking mental health resources. And one third (33%) are a part of the “Sandwich Generation,” meaning they currently care for parents/elders and children/younger dependents, which often comes with more responsibility, greater financial burden, and, at times, devastating stress.

Swapnil Prabha, vice president of Workforce Wellness Solutions for Unum Group, said this type of data continues to drive investments in mental health care by employers for their employees.

“The ongoing pandemic has further exacerbated the mental health crisis we were already in, but it also helped normalize the need for mental health support,” Prabha shared. “Despite the longstanding stigma and other challenges in mental health, the power of technology can make it possible for more people to get access to the right help when they need it.”