We are living in especially challenging times and navigating our way through can be difficult for some of us.
A 2021 State of Mental Health report by Mental Health America (MHA) spotlighted the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, using the over 1.5 million people who have taken a screen on MHA Screening from January to September 2020. It found the number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed. There was a 93 percent increase in the total number of anxiety screens year over year, and a 62 percent increase in the total number of depression screens. 1
Businesses and their employees are often impacted. Poor mental health and stress can negatively affect an employee’s job performance and productivity, engagement with one’s work, communication with coworkers, and physical capability and daily functioning.2
But employers can take action by promoting awareness about the importance of mental health and stress management. Workplace health promotion programs have proven to be successful, especially when they combine mental and physical health interventions.2
At Anthem, our mission is to improve the lives and communities we’re privileged to serve; and we can only do that if our associates are healthy, safe and engaged.
Based on what we heard from associates, we implemented programs to help them take care of themselves, so we can take care of those who are counting on us. Some of the ways we’re supporting and engaging our associates include:
- Winter Wellbeing. This education and content series is designed to help associates and family members dealing with important emotional health issues like isolation, depression, coping with grief and loss, preventing suicide, and managing stress and tension. Through videos and other resources, we’re able to help ensure associates have help navigating important emotional health challenges.
- CARE Community. Initially launched as the CARE Community to connect our associates to share ideas and provide support, the CARE Community evolved and expanded based on associate feedback. The Community now includes a CARE Service, a 24/7 concierge program available for associates who are struggling and need immediate assistance with situations including: childcare and caregiver resources, talking through difficult and complex emotions, dealing with a distressing personal situation, the impact of COVID-19, and more. This service helps associates take the first step and connects them with resources.
- Papa. This service pairs our associates with Papa Pals for companionship and assistance with everyday tasks – such as car rides to appointments, grocery and pharmacy door drops, light housework, yard work, and companionship with elderly family members. Papa services can be used for employees or on behalf of a loved one, and they’re able to use 10 hours of time for these on-demand services.
- ianacare. We’re supporting our associates who are family caregivers with the ianacare free mobile app. By equipping family caregivers with resources and guidance from caregiving coaches — ianacare is one more tool our associates have when situations begin to feel overwhelming.
Through these, and many other wellness programs, Anthem is providing the peace of mind, encouragement, and empowerment to assure our associates they are valued, and they are not alone.
As employers are urged to rise to meet this critical moment in the lives of their employees, Anthem continues to identify strategies for managing mental health and stress and provide resources to our associates. We believe it’s important to stay focused on the health and wellbeing of ourselves, as well as those around us. And it’s vital to understand the needs of our associates, and respond with compassion, humanity, and care.