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Risk of PTSD Up 121% Compared to Before the Pandemic

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The Q1 2022 Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition findings show that the risk of PTSD among workers remains alarmingly high; up 121% when compared to before the global pandemic. Further, sustained attention is 47% worse than pre-pandemic; and for men the data is even more concerning – 74% worse than February 2020. These worrisome findings are a stark contrast to additional data that shows improvements in risk for most other mental health concerns. Experts offer words of caution as risk of PTSD makes people more emotionally volatile and increasingly susceptible to stress, anxiety, depression, and addiction. It will take little to impact employees’ mental state.

“High PTSD risk levels are a long-lingering effect of the pandemic; and while not totally unexpected, are cause for concern,” noted Mathew Mund, CEO, Total Brain. “Employees, while showing great mental health improvements as the world began to open, are highly vulnerable to uncertainty and change right now. The strong correlation between PTSD and other mental health concerns means that employees’ and employers’ ability to assess and monitor mental health is more important than ever.” 

The Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition, powered by Total Brain, a mental health monitoring and support platform, is distributed in partnership with the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, One Mind at Work, and the HR Policy Association and its American Health Policy Institute.

Michael Thompson, National Alliance president and CEO said, “Workers have become even more vulnerable after enduring a period of sustained stress over the past couple of years. Recent turmoil – domestically and globally – has triggered renewed concerns about their mental health and wellbeing.”

Margaret Faso, director, Health Care Research and Policy of HR Policy Association said, “Employers know employee wellbeing and benefit offerings are crucial tools as workers adapt to evolving workplaces and expectations post-pandemic. Monitoring employee mental health allows employers to innovate and quickly provide the right programs to address the needs of their employees.”

“While the reopening of many facets of the world, including workplaces, has resulted in certain mental health improvements, it is understandable that this reintegration after such a lengthy period in quarantine has also resulted in increased risk of PTSD,” said Daryl Tol, executive vice president of One Mind at Work. “Given this higher risk, employers must continue to be hyper-aware of the needs of their workforce and ensure that there are resources and solutions in place to meet those needs with care.”

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