Mental Health Maturity Index | How Companies Can Better Support Employee Mental Health in 2021 and Beyond

Big Health and the Employer Health Innovation Roundtable (EHIR) have released the results from the first-of-its-kind Mental Health Maturity Index (MHMI) survey

Digital therapeutics company Big Health and the Employer Health Innovation Roundtable (EHIR) have released the results from the first-of-its-kind Mental Health Maturity Index (MHMI) survey examining the mental health ‘maturity’ levels of 35 large U.S.-based employers covering more than 2.5 million lives. Companies recognize the need to support employee mental health comprehensively. But creating a mental health strategy that is scalable, effective, and supports a diverse set of employee needs presents a host of challenges. The Mental Health Maturity Index (MHMI) provided Big Health and the Employer Health Innovation Roundtable (EHIR) with the opportunity to talk with and collect data from 35 large U.S.-based employers — representing 2.5 million employee lives.

Using data from the industry-first Mental Health Maturity Index, this report provides HR and benefits teams with a glimpse into:

  1. The successes and challenges faced by leading employers’ in 2020 & 2021
  2. How your mental health strategy ranks relative to the nation’s biggest companies
  3. Three ways to quickly improve your mental health strategy 
  4. Workplace mental health insights and analysis from leading mental health clinicians

Mental Health Maturity Index – Key Findings

Companies are implementing mental health programs, but they don’t know which ones are working

94% of companies that participated in the survey said that mental health is a key pillar of their wellness strategy.

HOWEVER

  • 54% of companies measure employee stress and mental wellbeing on an annual basis
    • Only 20% of companies use a clinically validated assessment (e.g., PHQ-9GAD-7)
  • 14% of companies assess the return on investment (ROI) of mental health services.
Senior leaders are advocates for employee mental health, yet actions to bridge the gap between saying and doing are sluggish

Companies seeking to build a psychologically safe and supportive workplace should invest in communication and training.

According to the MHMI survey:

  • 83% of companies state that senior leadership visibly advocates for the importance of mental health to the business
  • 57 % state that employee mental health is a board-level goal
  • 49% of companies ran an anti-stigma campaign in the last year
  • 59% only communicate about mental health benefits to their employees every six months to once a year
  • Beyond communication, very little is being done in terms of mental health training
    • 34% of companies have trained managers or employee volunteers on mental health

A Big Health Pro Tip added at the end of this section of the MHMI survey is that Leadership advocacy is not enough. Companies that want to create a culture of good mental health must engage with employees at all levels of the organization through mental health communication and training.

Current mental health care is not reaching all employees in need

The majority of employees are unable or unwilling to access existing mental health services.

  • 60% of people who meet diagnostic criteria for a mental health condition don’t receive care
  • 26% of companies state that they have a mental health solution focused on reaching the silent sufferers
  • 49% of companies provide a way for their employees to understand which mental health resource is right for them

MHMI Benchmark Report Pro Tip: One size does not fit all in mental health care. Cultural, economic, and personal employee preferences drive the need to offer a variety of mental health solutions.

Bonus Insight: Supporting employee mental health goes beyond offering therapy

Companies should take a broader view of what classifies as mental health support and provide benefits accordingly.

Many companies are already blazing the trail across important social determinants of health:

  • Only 6% of companies offer housing assistance
  • 45% offer child care assistance
  • 40% offer caregiver assistance
  • 37% of companies have extended health care access to groups of employees that do not traditionally receive them (i.e., part-time or contract employees)

MHMI Benchmark Report Pro Tip: Expand benefits to address broad social determinants of health. Once implemented, assess the value employees get from those benefits. Equipped with those data, HR teams can more confidently and holistically support employee mental health moving forward.

The Future of Digital Mental Health

As interest in and use of telehealth during the COVID-19 global pandemic grew, the potential of digital health to increase access and quality of mental health is becoming clear. Technology has opened a new frontier in mental health support and data collection. By learning from companies already blazing the way, we can avoid mistakes and more quickly provide better mental health care for all. Unquestionably, virtual and digital care isn’t for everyone and is unsuitable in some situations (i.e., most emergencies). However, virtual and digital care can improve affordability and provide critical additional access for those in need. It’ll just be interesting to see how end-user adoption rates grow as more healthcare becomes digitally embedded in our lives.

What’s your Mental Health Maturity score?

To access the full report and learn how to better support employee mental health in 2021 and beyond, please visit https://go.bighealth.com/report/three-lessons-from-the-biggest-companies-on-their-approach-to-mental-health.

You can learn more about how Big Health and the MHMI can help support your organization’s mental health goals by visiting https://go.bighealth.com/mental-health-blueprint or emailing workplace@bighealth.com.

About EHIR

The Employer Health Innovation Roundtable (EHIR) is a private and independent network of the largest and most progressive employers collectively representing approximately 10M employees with a shared mission to accelerate the adoption of innovation for the sake of improving employee health wellness and productivity. Members convene throughout the year to share learnings and collectively review and evaluate new solutions with an intimate group of like-minded peers through a streamlined and efficient process.

About Big Health & the Mental Health Maturity Index

Big Health’s mission is to help millions back to good mental health with evidence-based digital therapeutics for the most prevalent mental health issues. Big Health is charting the future of digital medicine by providing an inclusive, scalable, and affordable approach based on industry-leading peer-reviewed research and randomized control trials. By seamlessly integrating across the care pathway, from member engagement to billing via pharmacy benefit managers, Big Health simplifies adoption for payers and patients, improving access to mental health care.

Logan Harper

With an M.S. in Organizational Leadership, my background lies within the healthcare operations and sales sector, specifically within the digital health/ digital therapeutics arena. I have a proven track record of developing and implementing effective sales strategies, establishing organizational partnerships, and creating effective product/service/sales training programs and collateral.

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