New Study by Teladoc Health Reveals COVID-19 Pandemic’s Widespread Negative Impact on Mental Health
Nearly half (47%) of U.S. respondents report that their mental health has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
61% of laid off/furloughed workers note a negative impact to their mental health
27% indicate their employers are proactively responding with mental health resources and support.
Nearly 80% who have access to employee benefits welcome virtual care to support mental health needs
Purchase, NY, May 6, 2020 – A new study by Teladoc Health highlights the widespread negative mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the corresponding growing proactive support by employers to help meet the need, and the increased interest and comfort in virtual care options as part of American’s mental health and wellness. The study of 1558 employees (or those recently employed) in the U.S. and Canada, was conducted in mid-April by study, marketing research and analytics firm, Leger which was commissioned by global virtual care leaders, Teladoc Health (NYSE: TDOC), as a follow up to the company’s 2019 international mental health study conducted last fall by Ipsos MORI.
COVID-19 Negative Impact More Prevalent in Women and Young Americans
As a result of COVID-19, a significant number of respondents said their mental health has been negatively impacted (47%), with the negative impact on women (52%) far greater than men (42%). Nearly half (49%) between the ages of 18-34 reported being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend that was similar to Canadian respondents (52%) of the same age, and consistent with findings from the fall study that revealed a greater need among this demographic. Those over the age of 65 – an age group that has been deemed most at risk for the virus – experienced the lowest reported negative impact in the United State (38%) and Canada (37%). Since March 1, Teladoc’s mental health visits for ages 18-30 more than doubled over the prior two months, and members diagnosed with adjustment anxiety disorder has increased by 60%.
More Employers Proactively Providing Mental Health Support to Employees
Results showed that to support the growing impact on employees’ well-being, there is progress in opening the dialogue and closing the gap for mental health support in the workplace. The data shows that 27% of U.S. employers (compared to 39% of Canadian employers) are proactively responding to their employees with some or all of the following initiatives:
Offering additional mental health support
Raising the discussion of employee mental health needs
Waiving fees for mental health support
For example, Teladoc Health has expanded its benefits offering - assuring that all of the company’s 2,400 employees around the globe have access to and are aware of their free mental health benefits.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has given the mental health dialogue even greater importance and further advanced awareness and support for mental health on a broad scale, and specifically among employers who are making it a priority for their employees,” said Lew Levy, MD, chief medical officer, Teladoc Health. “Our research from 2019 to today shows that we’re closing the gap in support for mental health, as well as individual’s growing comfort in the use of virtual care. Teladoc Health will continue to play a leading role in normalizing the mental health conversation and providing mental health care to those who need it.”
Shifting the Mental Health Conversation Forward, as Americans Demonstrate Increased Comfort in Using Virtual Care
This recent study shows a positive trend in the awareness of and dialogue around mental health. Currently the majority of U.S. respondents (55%) with an employee benefits plan are aware of the mental health resources available to them, although the total is less than their Canadian counterparts (66%). Furthermore, there is growing acceptance for virtual care with both Americans (79%) and Canadians (82%) indicating strongly that employee benefits plans should include virtual care for mental health needs just as they do physical health needs. This new data represents a significant increase in support for virtual care over the past six months; during the fall study just 40% responded that they would welcome remote forms of care.
“This pandemic has further highlighted the access gaps and need for widespread mental health care. Our providers are hearing a louder voice for mental health support than ever before, particularly in young people,” said Dr. Gustavo Kinrys, medical director and vice president of Mental Health Services, Teladoc Health. “Seeking support to address mental health concerns is the new normal as more people choose not to bottle up their issues and keep them to themselves. The call for support is trending upward, and employers are working to help improve mental health education and awareness.”
About the Study
Leger conducted the survey among 1504 Canadians and 1001 Americans between Friday, April 17 and Sunday, April 20, 2020, using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for this study was +/-2.5% for Canada and +/-3.1% for the United States, 19 times out of 20.
About Teladoc Health
A mission-driven organization, Teladoc Health, Inc. is successfully transforming how people access and experience healthcare, with a focus on high quality, lower costs, and improved outcomes around the world. Ranked #1 among direct-to-consumer telehealth providers in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Telehealth Satisfaction Study, the integrated services from Teladoc Health include telehealth, expert medical services, AI and analytics, and licensable platform services. With more than 2,400 employees, the organization delivers care in 175 countries and in more than 40 languages, partnering with employers, hospitals and health systems, and insurers to transform care delivery. For more information, please visit www.teladochealth.com or follow @TeladocHealth on Twitter.