Between pandemic fatigue, stress of the holidays, and shorter days of winter, mental and behavioral health requests are on the rise. In fact, the 2022 HSA Bank Health and Wealth Index, a report that explores trends in consumer financial, physical and mental health, reveals that 1 in 5 respondents indicated they were not very or not at all confident about their overall mental health. Those concerns can be amplified by what we call the holiday blues, which can have negative consequences on as many as 3 out of 5 Americans, according to a survey cited by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Another NAMI survey finds that 64% of people with mental illness say the holidays make their conditions worse.

Looking closer, the Health & Wealth Index shows a large divide around engagement and perceived value of the mental health benefits available, with 81% of baby boomers and 64% of Generation X respondents indicating they have never obtained mental health care compared to 46% of millennials and 43% of Generation Z who have.

This indicates that employers need to devise a strategy that integrates mental health into their overall wellness plans, not just at the holidays but year-long. And it should be tailored to account for generational differences.

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