Risk for depression among US workers up 102%, study shows

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A new report shows the risk for depression among U.S. workers has increased 102% since February.

According to data from Total Brain's Mental Health Index, the risk for depression for working adults rose 31% from June to July as COVID-19 cases began to surge again across many parts of the U.S. and protests for racial justice and police reform took off. American's have also been faced with one of the highest unemployment rates in decades and a hazy economic outlook.

"There are so many different kinds of stress that are causing mental health issues in this point in time, and people being concerned whether they're going to be exposed at work, people taking care of their personal needs and their family needs while working, and we have an increased workload as well," said Lauren Pursley, a training specialist at Mental Health America Greater Houston. "It's hard to keep that work-life balance when you're doing all of your working and living in one space."

Pursley said it's important for employers to be understanding and offer support to employees who may be suffering from depression.

"If you know that there is an employee assistance program or other resource that you can offer, share those with your employees," Pursley said. "You know, you definitely want to provide flexibility as much as possible as long as we're talking through assignments and prioritizing what needs to get done and what can be extended. We also want to highlight achievements no matter how small. This isn't really difficult to do, and it's important that we're giving that praise wherever possible. It's motivating and can definitely build that self-esteem and promote confidence as well."

If you or a loved one is in need of mental health help, Mental Health America offers a list of free resources for support as well as a free online mental health screening.

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