It was only the latest in a growing list of examples. Noodles and Co., based in Broomfield, Colo., announced last month it was expanding its benefits program next year to include free in-person and virtual mental health counseling.
Employers increasingly have recognized that COVID-19 has added a lot of stress (tons of it, in fact) to their employees’ lives and are doing what they can to help. Obviously, not every company can afford to expand its menu of benefits offerings. But COVID-19 has left more than half of American adults feeling the toll, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, and so the mounting mental health crisis has caught everyone’s attention.
Indeed, the number of adults experiencing depression has tripled in the U.S. since the coronavirus outbreak began, according to a JAMA Network study, with more than one in four adults reporting symptoms of depression.
A quarter of U.S. workers say they have even considered quitting their jobs as worries related to the pandemic weigh on them, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. A fifth say they have taken leave.
The good news, again, is that employers are responding. The AP-NORC poll found 57% of workers saying their employer is doing “about the right amount” in responding to the pandemic; 24% said they are “going above and beyond.” Just 18% said their employer is “falling short.”
There’s less satisfaction, however, when it comes to supporting mental health.
Larger companies like Noodles & Co., we know, are better able to afford to give their employees the latest and greatest benefits packages. But there’s still plenty that smaller employers can do to help without taxing their budgets.
Here are four ways to accomplishing that:
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Also read: C-Suite’s Role in Tackling Mental Health in the WorkplaceBack to Resources