Mental health in companies: changes after the COVID-19 crisis
MENTAL HEALTH IN COMPANIES: CHANGES AFTER THE COVID-19 CRISIS
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health problems have increased since the appearance of covid-19. At a general level, an upward trend is observed in the levels of anxiety and stress in the population: some articles highlight that they would affect a third of the adult population and practically half of the young people.
In Spain, according to the data provided by the Confederation of Mental Health, 46% of the population reported an increase in psychological distress during confinement, while 60% indicated that they were in a situation of hopelessness and uncertainty about the future. Likewise, the consumption of psychotropic drugs increased: 7.6% in men and 15.4% in women.
Returning to the WHO, in its Atlas of Health, it highlights the global deficit in investment in mental health. By 2020, only 51% of member states reported a development plan for mental health. In other words, only half of them pay attention to the mental health of their population. In relation to these figures, the International Labor Organization (ILO) had already reported that up to 4% of the GDP of these countries was aimed at alleviating the consequences of the lack of mental health care, including sick leave and early retirement. It seems more than evident that the lack of mental health care directly affects work in a negative way.
One of the main challenges that we have to face, not only as companies, but as a society, is to eliminate the stigma of mental disorders and how they affect working life. Here, the support and follow-up that can be given from companies can be essential. In fact, companies are a fundamental part of reinforcing the feeling of fulfillment of people with mental disorders and/or disabilities. According to the report "A Job for Health" by the Adecco Foundation, 75% of the people surveyed indicate that "employment is helping to deal with mental health problems, improving their overall quality of life", and besides, 67% indicate that work has increased their self-esteem and confidence.
For this reason, it is no secret that after the Covid-19 epidemic and the strong economic crisis that it has unleashed, the demand for programs focused on improving the mental health of employees has increased within companies. Specifically, in Spain this demand has grown by 24%. It seems clear that remote work brought great benefits and improvements to employees in their day-to-day life, being able to have greater time flexibility and more time to reconcile work and family life.
From the companies, they seem to realize that these benefits are here to stay and become part of the business culture. Now, we are entering the process of improving and adapting to these changes at a time when the covid situation is under control.