The Mental Health Index recorded some positive findings in June, including notable improvements across women in the 20-39 age group. This cohort reported decreased anxiety (44%), depressed mood (43%), stress (25%) and negativity (20%) from May to June. However, analysis of June’s data also revealed concerning trends surrounding workers’ risk of PTSD — which remained elevated again last month. Workers who screened at risk for PTSD showed significantly worse memory, focus, resilience, and planning than those without a PTSD risk. Workers at risk of PTSD also had higher stress levels. All of these findings are concerning for employers. Pandemic induced PTSD is creating widespread deficits in cognition and resilience that are likely to impact employees’ performance in the workplace.
When looking at workers’ risks of mental disorders, PTSD is currently an outlier. Unlike PTSD, risk of other mental disorders has not been consistently above pre-pandemic levels in recent months.
Workers who are at risk of PTSD are facing multiple other mental health challenges.
Due to the high number of workers screening at risk for PTSD (17%), employers need to understand that more of their employees may be struggling and in need of additional support. Because of this, now is an ideal time to encourage and promote empathy in the workplace.
Less risk of Depressive Disorder among U.S. workers since April 2021
Greater risk of PTSD in June 2021 vs. pre-pandemic
Lower ability to focus measured in workers who flag at risk for PTSD
Reduction in depressed mood during the past month among women aged 20-39
Decrease in stress in June among women in the 20-39 age group