Two-fifths (43 per cent) of U.S.-based human resources leaders say workers are having difficulty accessing mental-health care, according to a survey by virtual health care provider Uprise Health.

The survey, which polled more than 540 U.S.-based HR leaders at firms with 100 or more employees, found 35 per cent of employers aren’t currently offering any mental-health and wellness benefits, while 31 per cent said their company doesn’t provide enough mental health and wellness support to keep employees productive and healthy.

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Half (51 per cent) said providing employees access to non-traditional benefits, like mental health and wellness, is a top challenge. In addition, half (52 per cent) said concerns about access to mental health-benefits for employees’ teenaged children have become more prevalent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly two-fifths (37 per cent) said their broker or consultant hasn’t helped their company provide more ways for employees to access care for mental health, well-being and chronic illnesses. More than half (53 per cent) said they’re likely to change their current benefits professional in the next year and, among these respondents, 38 per cent are looking for more communication, responsiveness, proactivity and a consultative approach.

“Benefits professionals have a tremendous opportunity to step in as strategic advisors, providing solutions and guidance that support the health of every employee,” said Mike Nolte, chief executive officer of Uprise Health, in a press release. “This includes mental health, wellness and resilience, while also addressing their link to everything from prevention to co-morbid chronic illnesses. Now is the time for benefits professionals to share their knowledge and expertise with their HR clients.”

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