Much has changed in a short time. Many people have shifted to working remotely, while others may be continuing to work under new processes or circumstances designed to address the current health emergency. Others have abruptly lost their connection to the workforce, and do not know when they will return to employment.
Individuals may be experiencing increased anxiety because of concerns regarding risks to their own health or to the health of loved ones, uncertainty about employment and financial stability, stress related to an interruption of daily routines or the uncertainty of what to expect in the near future.
While plan sponsors navigate these trying times, it is more important than ever to provide exemplary leadership, as discussed in a recent article by Segal Benz. A key component of doing that is helping guide individuals on how to maintain their mental health and well-being through the days and weeks to come.
Plan sponsors are taking many steps to address COVID-19, including working to improve access and costs related to COVID-19 benefits, as well as access to mental health and substance use disorder benefits during this time. Maintaining mental health and well-being is an immediate and critical concern.
Plan sponsors may wish to develop supportive communications to promote mental health during the COVID-19 emergency. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidance related to maintaining mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The information on this page is based on those resources.
Key components to maintaining mental health include:
These components of mental well-being support the maintenance of physical health, which is equally important in protecting individuals who may face COVID-19 exposure.
If your organization offers an employee assistance program (EAP), this is the perfect time to remind your participants about the benefit and how the EAP may be able to help them cope right now.
In addition to providing your population with tips for maintaining well-being, as appropriate for the specific circumstances, here are some other things you can do to help maintain employee morale and make coping easier:
*For most adults this is seven to nine hours. For children ages six to 12, the recommendation is nine to 12 hours per day, and for children 13 to 18, it is eight to 10 hours per day.
On all issues involving the interpretation or application of laws and regulations, plan sponsors should rely on their legal counsel for legal advice.
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