Increased Mental Health Benefits & Coverage for Many
Over the last few years, more employers have begun offering insurance for therapy or increase mental health benefits for their employees. We can credit this to the cultural decrease in stigma around mental illness and the increase in emphasis on getting mental health help.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant rise in mental illness across the country. Many are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety for the first time as the pandemic changes the world. This has made it even more critical for employers to make sure their employees can access mental health benefits and insurance coverage for therapy. Many employers are rising to meet this challenge.
Mental Health Stigma
Mental health stigma exists when someone views mental illness as something shameful or embarrassing. Someone can experience mental health stigma if they view others or themselves as lesser than, weaker, or wrong compared to someone without mental illness. Where stigma exists, individuals tend to feel an increased amount of shame toward their mental illness and avoid getting help as a result. Stigma has also created barriers to professional help. With 1 in 5 adults are experiencing mental illness, the stigma against it is being torn down. The acceptance of mental health-related issues in society means more people than ever are getting the help they need.
Why Employers Are Increasing Mental Health Benefits
More employers are offering mental health benefits to their employees than in the past. This year has seen that employers increase the mental health benefits they’re offering midstream, as they’ve recognized the increasing need. The pandemic has caused a considerable increase in mental health issues in the United States.
Individuals are experiencing increases depression and anxiety as they figure out how to navigate a pandemic for the first time in their life. Large portions of our population are feeling increased feelings of loneliness, uncertainty, and helplessness. As workplaces shift operating procedures, adapt again to work from home orders, and enact other significant changes in their work environments, employee mental health is being brought to their attention now more than ever before. Many employees have been working from home for many months, which can lead to challenging isolation. We should commend the numerous employers who have recognized the rising mental health crisis during this time and taken action to ensure their employees have access to the mental health care they need.
Benefits of Insurance Coverage for Therapy
Having access to mental health benefits and insurance coverage for therapy eliminates barriers to professional help. Cost is one of the most common reasons that individuals avoid seeking mental health services. Offering mental health benefits and insurance for therapy to employees eliminates these barriers.
Improve Work-Life Balance
With access to mental health benefits, individuals can be more successful in managing their mental health. Working with a professional equips them with strategies and techniques that promote healthier responses, coping mechanisms, and life balance. Therapy, especially when pursued proactively, can prevent burnout, promote growth, and increase personal satisfaction.
Mental Health Services During the Pandemic
The pandemic has prompted a massive wave of uncertainty and hopelessness among adults who might never before have faced mental illness. As more individuals face mental illness due to the pandemic, practical accessibility has thankfully increased as well. Telehealth has reduced the barrier of logistics for many therapy-seekers. This means that the increased coverage provided by employers is effective, even during lockdown conditions.
Many Still Not Covered
It’s important to note that these advances, while important, still leave a lot people without mental health benefits; for many of these people, who may have lost their jobs due to the pandemic or be working jobs that do not come with these kinds of benefits, the stress and strain of this era is strong. Community health organizations and individual providers who offer sliding scales or even a few pro bono spots in their practice are working to fill in the gap, but it’s a big one.
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