OSCEOLA COUNTY, Florida – For some, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an emotional roller coaster, wreaking havoc on workers of all generations. Research shows that there is a critical link between employer-provided mental health resources and employee loyalty.
What would you like to know
- More workers feel stressed during COVID-19
- About four in ten adults report symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder
- It was a one in 10 increase from January to June 2019
- Experts urge employers to keep lines of communication open with workers
Mairim Escalante has his morning routine: breakfast usually includes a protein shake and a morning chat with his roommate / colleague, Keilah Rios.
Every day, Escalante goes to the place she calls her safe place in St. Cloud, OG Fitness. Not for his own training but to motivate others to move. She is a personal trainer there.
Her business is all about one-on-one interaction, which she says has been a challenge during this global COVID-19 pandemic. The millennial struggles to stay sane.
“So it can be a little overwhelming to say, ‘Oh my God, where am I going to go now? “She said.” And I think that’s what has taken so many people by storm. It’s just like, ‘Oh my God, the savings, what do I do? No work. No future… all of those things I’ve worked so hard for… sort of, go poof. ‘ “
Escalante said physical movement has been therapeutic for her.
Workers of all ages need a way to relieve stress, data shows. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about four in ten adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic. This represents an increase of one in 10 adults from January to June in 2019.
Lillianis Cruz is a licensed mental health counselor who runs Hope Counseling of Central Florida. She has received an increase in calls from people seeking therapy lately. Of all age groups, she said Gen Z are the most likely to seek advice.
“We have to understand that we were people with problems before the pandemic, and then you add another stressor to manage that we originally thought would be gone in two weeks, and that’s not the case,” said Cruz. “So you have to peel even more layers. ”
Cruz has also encountered more and more literature related to COVID lately, such as new research showing that mental health resources in the workplace are linked to employee loyalty.
“[Be] open with your employees about how they feel, not just physically, but also emotionally and socially, ”said Cruz. “If you treat them like people and human beings who also struggle with mental health like everyone else, I notice that their loyalty and openness to communicate increases.”
Escalante said that when she needs a mental health day or a COVID day, this is something OG Fitness has helped her with.
“For me, employees will always be very grateful to the employers who are there for them, who support them and support them, not only as a boss, but as a friend,” said Escalante. “Right now it’s really important. “
Escalante’s work family also helped her continue during these times.
Experts suggest that employers maintain an open line of communication with their employees. Experts say it is essential to connect them to mental health resources when available.