- U-Haul International announced Monday that it's expanding its benefits to include mental health coverage and resources to its 30,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada. The moving and storage chain partnered with ComPsych, an employee assistance program (EAP) and wellness provider, to offer its employees extensive mental and emotional support at no additional cost to them and no requirement that they belong to the company's medical plan.
- U-Haul said the program, called "You Matter," offers both full- and part-time workers and everyone in their households with access to ComPsych's counseling staff, including up to five sessions per mental health issue a year, for what the company described as "an unlimited number of life situations." Employees can access the program's services by phone or a portal, and the company can request onsite counselors in some instances, according to U-Haul.
- Besides counseling, the program provides wellness benefits, such as a concierge service to help with stressful situations like finding childcare, U-Haul said.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and employers are responding with new wellness initiatives across the board. Starbucks also announced earlier this month that it would roll out an enhanced version of its EAP by working with partners and mental health professionals to connect more workers with service providers.
Stress is a growing problem in the workplace, as study after study has shown. In a survey from Ginger, an on-demand behavioral health provider, 83% of the 1,200 employees polled experienced stress at least once a week, with Gen Z, low-paid workers, manual laborers and workers from highly populated areas experiencing the highest stress levels. But a dilemma for employees has been a lack of access to treatment — even under employer-sponsored plans, said Ginger. Employers must also ensure mental health benefits are easy to access, which is one reason why concierge services have taken off.
Managers are likely to have someone on their team who's struggling with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues without knowing. While 76% of employees in an Unum survey released in April said they were sure that their managers were appropriately trained in how to identify workers who may have emotional issues, just 16% of HR professionals in the survey agreed that managers were trained to spot troubled workers and just 25% said managers were trained in how to make referrals. Diagnosis and treatment should be left up to the professionals, but HR can ensure that managers are trained to look out for unusual changes in employees' behavior, personality or performance, which could signal that a worker is struggling.