Fear, worry and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats, or when faced with uncertainty. Understandably so, it is normal that people are experiencing worry or stress during the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of daily life. Americans are increasingly suffering from behavioral health issues during the pandemic, including mental health issues and substance abuse. This can have a disastrous impact on workplace productivity.
This article provides tips and considerations to help employers support their employees during this challenging time.
According to a survey from The Standard, 80% of employees reported feeling moderately or highly distressed due to the pandemic. Out of those respondents, 1 out of 5 U.S. workers turned to prescription drugs to cope with stress—and 1 out of 7 used illicit drugs. The most common form of substance abuse in the United States continues to be alcohol abuse. A further worrisome statistic is that one-third of respondents admitted to drinking while working from home.
It’s important to understand what employees may be experiencing or feeling that is causing mental health issues or pushing them to substance abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stress during a global pandemic can cause the following:
Those are the most common responses, but keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.
An employer’s role is to support its employees—including their mental health and well-being. That support is even more important during a global pandemic, as employees may be struggling to cope with the uncertainty.
Managers and supervisors should consider these tips for supporting employees:
Remember that the behavioral health focus should be on all employees. That means organization leaders should remember to support managers, as they too are living through the pandemic. Support them not only through training, but also on a personal level.
Source – Zywave, Inc.