Pam Zuber
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The Great Resignation means that many people leaving are jobs — but not just for positions that offer better pay, but also better benefits and perks. In response, some companies are increasing mental health benefits to attract top talent. Such benefits include easier access to mental health treatment, more time off, the ability to work from home and other policies that can promote mental well-being.

It’s important to understand what job seekers are seeking from employers and what employers are offering in terms of mental health. Here are some popular offerings, and what job seekers should be looking out for to see if their potential company has competitive benefits.

1. Therapy options

Mental health is part of overall health. That’s why job seekers are expecting insurance providers to cover more than just their physical health. Workplaces are responding with improved health care packages that may include mental health benefits such as:

  • Psychological counseling: Psychological counseling helps people handle the day-to-day emotional demands of their lives.

  • Alcohol and drug addiction therapy: Addiction is a serious mental health condition that requires specialty treatment. When mental health isn’t a priority, people might turn to alcohol or drugs to self-medicate, which could lead to substance abuse or addiction. Insurance may cover all or some of the costs of addiction treatment.

One workplace that offers improved mental health benefits is the financial services company Barclays. It not only offers diverse mental health insurance packages but also works to destigmatize mental health concerns via its This Is Me campaign.

Another employer, Unilever, focuses on emotional health issues by providing an employee assistance program (EAP) that offers support 24 hours a day, seven days a week via telephone, text, or webchat. The program includes stress-reduction courses, life coaching assistance, financial planning programs, and mental health counseling services.

2. Flex days

The concept of flex days has become a popular choice for many employers. This option can help manage anxiety and depression by allowing employees to work when they want. They might choose to put in three hours between 6-9 a.m., take their children to school, go to a doctor’s appointment, and resume work afterward, for example.

Flex days may also include short shifts or longer shifts, depending on the needs of the employees and their projects. Following a flexible schedule can minimize anxiety and help workers reach their goals. Rather than working at specific times, employees can create their own schedules, as long as they complete their tasks.

UnitedHealth Group is one company that provides flex days for its employees. Its workers can schedule their tasks when they want and can take time off as needed. This process lets employees get what they need from their workers, while helping employees manage their job duties and other responsibilities.

3. Shorter workdays

Work stress is a serious problem that affects employee mental health and is related to long work hours and other issues. To tackle this problem, companies are getting creative and opting for quality over quantity when it comes to work hours.

One example is the Swedish company Brath, which started featuring a six-hour workday for its employees in 2012. The experiment was a success, allowing it to attract quality employees by focusing on work-life balance.

“Our staff gets time to rest and do things that make them happier in life,” chief executive officer Maria Brath said. “For example, cook good food, spend time with family and friends, exercise. This, then, is profitable for the company, because the staff arrives at work happy and rested and ready to work.”

Take Care of Your Mental Health

If you’re searching for a new job, pay careful attention to the benefits offered and don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve. A workplace that truly values its employees knows that benefits can improve the quality of employees’ lives.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

What’s the no. 1 benefit you look out for in your job search? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss’ers!