Mental health word cloud (Photo:Shutterstock)

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A recent survey found that the vast majority of corporationsoffer emotional and well-being resources as part of their corporateplatforms and that funding for these programs have increased in thepast year — a positive sign amid the novel coronavirus pandemicthat the study authors say exposes employees to a higher risk ofstress and anxiety.

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"Now more than ever, employers are highly focused on employeemental health and well- being as they adjust to the pandemic,economic disruption, and heightened focus on the impact of racialand societal issues," Ellen Kelsay, president and CEO of thenon-profit Business Group on Health, said in a press release.

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Related: 5 ways to support employee mental health (and whyit matters)

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Conducted by Fidelity Investments and Business Group on Health,the 11th annual survey on corporate Health & Well-Being polled152 jumbo, large and midsize organizations between October 2019 andJanuary 2020.

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The authors note that the findings covered a period monthsbefore the global pandemic and the ensuing financial crisis, andmany employers are re-tailoring their strategies to a remoteworkforce.

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"Employers are facing a completely different set of well-beingchallenges this year as they and their employees try to adapt tochanges to their physical work environment or their job status,"said Shams Talib, head of Fidelity Workplace Consulting, in arelease.

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Among the polled organizations, 69% of employers offerteletherapy, 50% offer stress management and resiliency programs. Athird of employers also offer programs to improve sleep, up 25% in2019.

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Around 78% of employers also offer work/life balance programming. Popular benefitsinclude caregiver support (46%), programs and tools for new parents(36%) and childcare support (35%).

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The survey also found that funding for these programs areincreasing. The average budget for well-being programs increased to$4.9 million in 2020, up 36% over last year, with 31% ofrespondents committing two or more full-time staff members tomanage these programs. Among large employers with more than 20,000employees, the average budget earmarked for well-being programs is$10.4 million.

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Financial incentives continue to play animportant role in encouraging participation, the study authorssaid. The percentage of employers offering a financial incentivedipped slightly to 78%, from 82% in 2019, but 13% of employerssurveyed indicated that they plan to increase the maximum incentiveamount in 2020.

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The average maximum amount that can be earned per employeestayed fairly steady, dropping from $762 in 2019 to $757 in2020.

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