Friday, July 20, 2007

Survey Finds Employees Under More Mental Stress Than Ever

If half-year results of a Bensinger, DuPont & Associates survey are a true indicator, then employees are under more mental stress than ever.

The Chicago-based professional services company says demand for its employee assistance programs has spiraled upward 74 percent during the first half of 2007 compared with the same period a year ago. That is an amazing increase!

This is how it broke down -- more than a third (36 percent) of the callers called to request help with mental health issues. Nineteen percent (19 percent) requested help with legal issues, while 18 percent needed assistance to resolve problems with family and personal relationships.

Now -- here is my question: How many of those calls do you suppose were in some way related to domestic violence? Most obvious would be the 18 percent needing assistance to resolve problems with family and personal issues, but you also have to consider that those calling for assistance with mental health issues like depression could also be dealing with abusive relationships. In addition, it would not be far-fetched to think that those requesting legal help could be doing so to get out of an unsafe relationship.

I say all of this because I am curious how those numbers would have broken out if the employee assistance programs (EAPs) were measuring them that way. As EAPs begin to realize the impact that domestic violence has on employees' worklife and on presenting problems such as those highlighted in this survey, I wonder if we will see it highlighted as an issue in the future.

After all, you don't get the answer to a question you don't ask, do you?

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