Inflation causing poorer mental health among Americans
LifeWorks Mental Health Index ™ reveals 20 percent of Americans are unable to meet basic needs due to inflation
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital and in-person total wellbeing solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™ showing that the 20 percent of Americans who are not able to meet basic needs, such as food and housing, have a mental health score more than 16 points below the national average. Additionally, 15 percent of respondents indicate they are uncertain whether their households will be secure next year.
The Index found that American workers’ optimism, general psychological health, and financial risk scores declined from April to May.
- At 69.4 out of one hundred, the mental health of Americans in May remains nearly unchanged from April’s score of 69.3.
- Mental health scores improved in the Northeast and Midwest regions, and declined in the South and West regions.
Many Americans are facing or dealing with the impacts of inflation
- For 20 percent of Americans, inflation has impacted their ability to meet basic needs like food and housing, and this group has a mental health score nearly 16 points below the national average.
- Fifteen percent of Americans are not confident that their housing will be secure for the next year.
- Sixteen percent of Americans indicate that inflation has not impacted them yet but expect it will in the future.
- Forty-eight percent of Americans have cut back on optional spending because of the effects of inflation.
- Americans who rent their homes have poorer mental health than homeowners.
Comments from president and chief executive officer, Stephen Liptrap
“Our research shows that Americans are now facing increased stress from the realities and fear of inflation. It is incumbent on employers to recognize the pressures their employees face, both inside and outside the workplace. It is also vital that employers make sure their employees know about the available programs and tools that can help them navigate their mental and financial health during these stressful times, such as counselling financial consultation in their employee assistance program.”
Comments from global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen
“After years of dealing with pandemic related anxieties, more Americans are now dealing with a new looming fear of not being able to put food on their tables or have house security due to the sharp inflation increase. It’s important to recognize that financial strain is destabilizing and can impact mental health. With this, employees might be more on edge than they were before. Good communication and a workplace where people feel a sense of respect and belonging go a long way every day, and especially now.”
The full United States LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ report can be found here. This month, the report includes additional insights on the impacts of the increased aggression and conflict, housing security, managers’ and employees’ perspective on working from home, and safety at the workplace. To receive LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ every month, subscribe here.
About the Mental Health Index™
The monthly survey by LifeWorks was conducted through an online survey from May 2 to 18, 2022 with 5,000 respondents in the United States. All respondents reside in the United States and were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflect this population. The Mental Health Index™ is published monthly, beginning April 2020, and compares against benchmark data collected in 2017, 2018, 2019.
Beginning in May 2022, corresponding to the third year of the Mental Health Index™ by LifeWorks, scores are represented as absolute. To create the Mental Health Index™, a response scoring system is applied to turn individual responses into point values. Higher point values are associated with better mental health and less mental health risk. Scores between 0 to 49 correspond with distress levels, scores between 50 to 79 correspond with strain levels and scores between 80 to 100 correspond with optimal levels.
LifeWorks is a world leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals. We deliver a personalized continuum of care that helps our clients improve the lives of their people and by doing so, improve their business.
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