As I interact with clients from different industries, talking about burnout and how to prevent it by changing behavior, I am amazed to learn that many employees are not aware of the key wellness benefits available to them through their jobs, especially mental health benefits.

Many companies are finally paying attention to the importance of incorporating and expanding mental health benefits into their wellness strategy. If we haven’t learned it before, we certainly learned this important lesson last week when Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, famous for her magnificent and seemingly fearless aerial feats, announced that for her safety, both mental and physical, she was taking herself out of the most competitive event of her career.

How burned out are people at their workplaces, who in general, don’t have to literally soar and twist through the air with the whole world watching?

According to a February 10, 2021 survey by Deloitte, (as reported in 77% of 1,000 respondents said they had experienced burnout at their job. Ninety-one percent said that unmanageable stress or frustration impacted the quality of their work. Even those passionate about their jobs were still stressed at work with 64% saying they were frequently stressed.

Yet, I want to draw your attention to the fact that many employees’ eyes glaze over when I suggest they reach out to their EAP (Employee Assistance Program) when their stress level is getting extreme and does not let up.

“EAP?” they respond.

“Yes, Employee Assistance Program, your company has one. It’s where you can get telephone access to licensed therapists all over the country who are ready to help you.”

“Oh, how do I access my EAP?”

“You look in your wellness portal or contact your wellness or human resources representative.”

“But I don’t want to be labelled as mentally ill.”

“You won’t be. Under HIPAA rules (Healthy Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) providers are not allowed to reveal the individual identify of anyone who uses an EAP.”

Onboarding day is filled with so much information, it’s hard for new employees to remember everything, including details about their EAP and any other mental health components. However, mental health benefits are a great example of benefits that need to be highlighted on a regular basis so that people do not forget about them, or neglect to access them when needed.

“How do I highlight?” you ask. By not only having a vibrant wellness portal, but also by driving traffic to your wellness portal. As you can see from the above conversation, many employees never bother to log in.

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