American breaking point: 1 in 4 workers have quit their job over mental health

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AUSTIN, Texas — The Great Resignation is no myth. Americans are leaving the workforce in droves and a new study is revealing one of the main reasons for this exodus. It turns out more than one in four people have quit their job for the sake of their mental health.

In a poll of more than 2,000 working Americans by career guidance service JobSage, researchers found that 28 percent say they’ve left a job in the last two years because of its impact on their mental health. Nearly two in five Americans have considered quitting for this reason.

The report shows that 55 percent of workers have experienced significant stress in the past year, while 38 percent report having symptoms of depression. A similar number of people say lack of motivation (37%) and anxiety (36%) are making work more difficult. Just under a third have dealt with feelings of anger (31%).

The survey also finds that stress from work ranks as having the second-worst impact on a person’s mental health — finishing only behind stress due to their finances (42%). Over the last year, over half the poll say they’ve experienced job-related stress and more than a third have experienced depression, anxiety, or a lack of motivation because of their work.

The three biggest reasons for these issues are workers feeling overworked (37%), lack of work-life balance (33%) and being underpaid (31%).

What do workers need to survive mentally?

Oddly enough, only one in five people say their employer doesn’t do enough when it comes to caring about workers’ mental health. Moreover, 70 percent of these employees still consider themselves happy.

While this seems like a high number, the survey also finds a staggering 98 percent of workers who are at companies who take care of their mental health are happy. So, how can employers make things better so workers don’t quit?

Nearly half the poll (47%) want their employers to commit to providing a healthier work-life balance. Another 42 percent want more time off and 41 percent are looking for more flexibility in their schedule.

It’s OK to take a ‘mental health day’ at work

As mental health becomes a more accepted topic in modern society, mental health days are growing in popularity at offices around the country. In fact, three in four respondents say they’ve used a mental health day to relieve stress and reduce burnout. However, 66 percent of workers taking mental health days say they still felt guilty about doing so.

Even so, nearly 80 percent of the poll believe they would be open and honest about the reason they’re taking a mental health day. Two in five people want their company to discuss mental health issues in the workplace. Even if their job won’t do this, three in four people would be willing to talk about their mental health with a co-worker. However, only one in five respondents feel comfortable about discussing these issues with Human Resources.

Use it or lose it

For companies that are stepping up to provide mental health services for workers, the survey finds they’re not going to waste. Researchers find 86 percent of respondents who have mental health benefits at their job use them. These most often include online therapy, emotional support lines, and in-person therapy sessions.

Unfortunately, four in five workers don’t have these benefits or don’t know if their job offers them.

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