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U.S. Employers Scramble to Address Mental Health Epidemic

Covid-19 is driving a spike in mental health needs and companies are scrambling to keep up. 

When working from home isn’t work out
Photographer: mapodile/E+/Getty Images

As the global death toll from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic climbs, employers are scrambling to address the explosive rates of anxiety, depression, substance abuse and potential waves of suicides that have emerged along with it. Like the virus itself, this secondary epidemic is expected to affect far more people than the existing healthcare system can address, leaving employers to pick up the slack.

The numbers are daunting. Vida Health Inc., a digital network of therapists and clinicians that works with companies like Cisco, Visa, PayPal and Boeing, has seen 15-20% week-on-week increases in mental health and stress-related appointments since mid-March, and a 30-50% boost in new client interest. “Everyone is looking for virtual mental healthcare right now,” said chief executive officer Stephanie Tilenius. “We’re just hiring as fast as we can.”