More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of employees say their mental health has stayed the same or worsened in the past year, according to a new survey by Inc.

The survey polled more than 150 employers and more than 4,000 workers in the U.S., U.K., Germany and India. It also analyzed usage patterns of more than 4 million users of the Calm wellness app. A majority (81 per cent) of respondents said they’ve struggled with nervousness, anxiousness and stress recently. Indeed, 61 per cent of employees surveyed said they’ve felt down, depressed or hopeless recently and 68 per cent noted they’re having sleep issues.

Six in 10 (60 per cent) respondents who have experienced anxiousness or toss and turn at night said it affects their performance at work and cost of living or inflation were cited as the top factors negatively impacting employee mental health.

Read: 71% of Canadian women say inflation is impacting their mental health: survey

More than half (58 per cent) of employees agreed they’re always connected or available for work and 46 per cent said they often work outside working hours. A third said they’re often interrupted by their devices while they’re at work or feel tired from being online for work.

Among women, nearly all (90 per cent) said family planning challenges can be all-consuming and affect their overall mental health as well as their ability to focus at work and be productive. While 35 per cent said their workplace is supportive of women’s reproductive health (including pregnancy, fertility and abortion), just a quarter (25 per cent) felt as supported when it comes to menopause needs.

Meanwhile, more than three-quarters (77 per cent) of employers said financial anxiety is
impacting employee mental health and they want to address this need in the next one to two years. Two-thirds (66 per cent) agreed financial stress affects employee mental health and another 41 per cent said they’re aware it affects employees’ ability to focus at work.

Read: MVF supporting employees’ financial wellness needs through new cost-of-living benefit

In the U.S., more than 75 per cent of employers said they offer employee assistance program services that include therapy visits and basic preventative resources; however, just 24 per cent of employees are aware these benefits are available to them. Notably, EAP utilization rates among employees were very low (under 10 per cent) for a number of reasons, including the common misperception that they’re only for crisis situations and the stigma often associated with using an EAP.

In addition to EAPs, employers said they offer mental-health and wellness supports such as onsite break rooms (81 per cent), limited number of in-person therapy visits 
through the EAP (79 per cent), preventative resources to address stress, anxiety and sleep through their EAP (75 per cent), an extensive number of in-person therapy 
visits and access to a virtual therapist (37 per cent), mental-health days off (38 per cent), self-care digital tools (38 per cent), workshops/training for managers to create 
a less stressful work environment (45 per cent), workshops/training to help employees build resilience and reduce stress and burnout (46 per cent), wellness stipends (26 per cent) and specialized mental-health support for women (24 per cent) and youth 
and children (21 per cent).

Read: EAPs increasing virtual delivery, taking proactive approach to meet employees’ shifting needs