All press
June 3, 2024

Mental health support during COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO, June 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Modern Health, the global preventative mental wellness platform, today announced findings from its State of the Industry: Mental Health in the Coronavirus Era report. The research, fielded in May, 2020, surveyed more than 700 adults about the impact of Covid-19 on their mental health, relationships, finances and work.

"Coronavirus alone was making employees more stressed than ever - almost half reported feeling more stress and anxiety throughout this outbreak than any other time in their life. As a result, we saw a significant shift in attitudes with over a third of employees more open to seeking support for mental health than pre-pandemic," comments VP of Clinical Care at Modern Health, Dr. Myra Altman. "It was against this backdrop that America witnessed the killing of George Floyd which sparked off activist protests globally. We are facing compounding crises in America that is clearly creating a stronger and more urgent need for mental health support. 2020 has to be the year that we take steps to democratize and destigmatize access to mental health care for all."

Key findings from the survey include:

Covid-19 Has Created Adults Who Are More Stressed Than Ever Before

As many experts have predicted, this study confirms Covid-19 has indeed led to significant strain on mental wellness across the country. 47 percent of survey respondents reported they have felt more stress and anxiety during Covid-19 than at any other time in their life. Over half (53%) worry that we will never 'go back to normal' and 34 percent feel the pandemic will likely have a negative impact on their career and income. Overall, all ages, ethnicities, and demographic groups reported higher levels of stress as a result of the pandemic. While those aged 56-65 felt the lowest levels of stress pre-Covid (3.92 out of 10), this group reported the largest increase (+32%) in stress. This insight is not unexpected, given this age group is regularly highlighted by the CDC and in the media as being of highest risk.

Employed Adults Are Appreciating their Jobs More, But Fear Returning to the Office

With many employees now working from home for the first time, we've seen a spike in both appreciation and productivity with 60 percent of employed adults appreciating their job more than before and almost half (49%) reporting higher productivity. 53 percent are feeling less stressed without a commute, 51 percent said they felt more control over their working hours and had a better work-life balance, and 44 percent report feeling more connected to their colleagues as a result of seeing them in their home environments (i.e., with partners, kids, pets) via virtual meetings.  It seems that Covid may leave its mark on the working environment with 48 percent of respondents reporting that their workplace will place less importance on being in the office post-pandemic and 41 percent of respondents saying they do not feel the need to work in an office environment ever again. In fact, 36 percent reported that their company will downsize its office space, and 30 percent said their physical office space will be eliminated altogether. Looking forward, half are anxious about future work travel or in-person meetings, and 36 percent fear going back to the office.

The Pandemic Has Created A Rise In Gratitude and Charitable Donations

Despite the increase in stress, the study reveals 75 percent report feeling more grateful for their health, relationships and life that they've built - an upward trend seen across all ages and ethnicities but particularly with the older generation aged 56-65 (81%). Perhaps a silver lining of the pandemic, over two-thirds of those surveyed (68%) have been inspired by the acts of giving and kindness shown by those around them, and over half have been inspired to give back, donate and volunteer to help those who need it. 33 percent are donating more to charitable organisations than before Covid-19.

Quarantine Has Improved Our Relationships, Moreso for Fathers

Close to half of respondents said quarantining with their partner (42%) and children (40%) has improved their relationships. 22 percent more dads than moms feel that quarantine has improved their relationships with their children, even though more dads (40%) have found homeschooling while working stressful than moms (22%). 60 percent of respondents are making more of an effort to connect virtually with those important to them, and more than a third (35%) have had more authentic interactions with acquaintances or strangers.

More Than Half Of Respondents Say Money Isn't As Important As Health And Happiness

Despite 40 percent of respondents worrying about being able to provide for themselves and their family, more than half (58%) say that they now realise money isn't as important as health and happiness. In fact, this pandemic has been somewhat of a financial learning curve for some respondents with more than half (60%) of those surveyed changing the way they think about saving and investing post-Covid.

More People Now Willing To Seek Mental Health Support, But a Socio-Economic Status Divide

Over a third of respondents (35%) are now more willing to seek support for mental health than before the pandemic and over half (54%) feel their workplace would be more understanding if they needed to get support for mental health needs. Employees want more support from their employers in the form of teletherapy (42%), virtual coaching (44%), advice on managing finances (50%), and help with difficult conversations at work (46%). Over half (57%) of respondents working at companies of 1,000+ employees reported that they have access to some form of mental health benefit through their employer, while 59 percent of respondents working at companies of 1-1,000 employees don't have access to mental health benefits or are not aware of any. Worryingly, in lower-income households (<$50k) there is a significant number of respondents (10%) who are concerned they will be fired if they are deemed a high-risk employee with high anxiety, compared to 0 percent of those with a household income of $150k+. Most companies have work to do in terms of offering mental health services to meet their employees' expectations. When asked what employee benefits are offered, the majority of respondents (38.1%) said none of the above.

The survey, hosted by Spectacle Strategy, included adults ages 21 - 65 from a wide spectrum of industries such as health care, banking, legal, travel, e-commerce, software, as well as those identifying as self-employed or unemployed due to Covid-19. The survey includes companies with less than 10 employees all the way up to 50,000 or more, and with annual household incomes ranging from less than $50k to more than $250k.

For early access to the complete report as soon as it's published, please register here.

About Modern Health

Modern Health is the comprehensive mental wellness platform that combines the WHO well-being assessment, self-service wellness kits, an international network of certified coaches, and licensed therapists available in 35 languages all available in a single app. Modern Health empowers employers to lead the charge in acknowledging that mental health is just as important as physical health, destigmatizing the conversation, and increasing accessibility of mental health services for all.

Founded in 2017, Modern Health incorporates evidence-based psychology principles and seamless technology to serve the needs of companies globally including Pixar, SoFi, Nextdoor, EA, and Rakuten. Headquartered in San Francisco, Modern Health has raised more than $45 million from Founders Fund, Kleiner Perkins, actor Jared Leto, StitchFix CEO Katrina Lake, and 01 Advisors (Dick Costolo and Adam Bain).