Disconnect Between CEOs, Workers Could Create Employee Behavioral Benefit Opportunities

An overwhelming number of CEOs say they are doing enough to provide mental health help to their employees. But many workers feel otherwise, according to newly released data from the virtual behavioral health provider Ginger.

The data comes from Ginger’s 2021 Workforce Attitudes Toward Mental Health Report, which includes feedback from 1,229 full-time US workers and 150 CEOs on mental health in the workplace. Surveys for the report were completed last month.

Based in San Francisco, Ginger works with employers, health plans and other groups to deliver on-demand behavioral health coaching, therapy and psychiatry to users via text and video.

Advertisement

Overall, 80% of CEOs surveyed said they believe that poor employee mental health has a negative impact on worker productivity, and 96% said they are meeting their employees’ mental health needs. However, 69% of workers told a different story, saying their employers are not doing enough to address their mental health.

Additional discrepancies between workers and their bosses emerged throughout the report.

For example, 94% of CEOs surveyed said that receiving mental health assistance has made them better leaders, and 92% said their companies have increased mental health resources since the beginning of the pandemic.

Nearly half of all workers reported experiencing high to extreme levels of stress within the past year, marking an increase of 7% over the past two years. Nonetheless, only half of all rank-and-file employees said their workplaces are accepting of mental health issues.

Meanwhile, 95% of employees who received mental health assistance over the past year said it had benefited them at their jobs.

Of those who got help, more than 75% of employees did so by virtual means.

The report’s findings could bode well for the future of the employee mental health benefit market and the larger digital behavioral health space. In spite of last year’s pandemic-led economic downturn, digital behavioral health companies in 2020 closed 440 deals and raised over $14 billion in funding. Both numbers were up from 2019.

Ginger, for its part, said that it hopes high-ranking executives will look at the report’s results as proof that improved and expanded mental health resources are necessary throughout the workplace.

“The increased focus on mental health in the C-suite will benefit both shareholders and workers,” Ginger CEO Russell Glass said in a press release announcing the report.

Glass said it’s time for CEOs to step up and invest in accessible mental health benefits.

“Our data shows that this is truly the ‘last-mile’ challenge in mental healthcare,” Glass added. “As we strive to create a world where mental health is never an obstacle, employers have a critical role in de-stigmatizing mental health, and ensuring their teams know how to get help.”