Trend: Despite concerns, large US employers deploy apps, AI chatbots, other digital tools to boost workplace mental health

Employ­ers Are Offer­ing a New Work­er Ben­e­fit: Well­ness Chat­bots (The Wall Street Journal):

More work­ers feel­ing anx­ious, stressed or blue have a new place to go for men­tal-health help: a dig­i­tal app.

Chat­bots that hold ther­a­pist-like con­ver­sa­tions and well­ness apps that deliv­er depres­sion and oth­er diag­noses or iden­ti­fy peo­ple at risk of self-harm are snow­balling across employ­ers’ health­care benefits.

The demand for coun­selors is huge, but the sup­ply of men­tal-health providers is shrink­ing,” said J. Mar­shall Dye, chief exec­u­tive offi­cer of Pay­rollPlans, a Dal­las-based provider of ben­e­fits soft­ware used by small and medi­um-size busi­ness­es, which began pro­vid­ing access to a chat­bot called Woe­bot in November.

… About a third of U.S. employ­ers offer a “dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tic” for men­tal-health sup­port, accord­ing to a sur­vey of 457 com­pa­nies this past sum­mer by pro­fes­sion­al ser­vices com­pa­ny WTW. An addi­tion­al 15% of the com­pa­nies were con­sid­er­ing adding such an offer­ing in 2024 or 2025 … Yet some researchers say there isn’t suf­fi­cient evi­dence the pro­grams work, and the var­ied secu­ri­ty and safe­ty prac­tices cre­ate a risk that pri­vate infor­ma­tion could be leaked or sold.

2023 survey among large US employers:

Sur­vey: Employ­ers sup­port grow­ing demand for men­tal health ser­vices (Mer­cer):

Amer­i­can employ­ers are tak­ing action to improve the health and well­ness of their employ­ees. That is among the find­ings of a report that explores what employ­ers are doing to address the men­tal health chal­lenges that con­front too many in Amer­i­ca. In the sur­vey, 94% of large employ­ers (500 or more employ­ees) report­ed that they have strength­ened their cov­er­age for men­tal health care, increased sup­port, or put in place new pro­grams or sys­tems to help in the last three years. About two-thirds (68%) have added or enhanced sup­ports like employ­ee assis­tance pro­grams, class­es, or access to apps to help pro­mote men­tal health, and 28% have expand­ed men­tal health cov­er­age with­in their exist­ing health plans. In addi­tion, employ­ers are also putting in place work­force train­ing to sup­port those with men­tal health needs and mak­ing changes in the office to pro­mote men­tal well­ness at work.

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SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.

English About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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