Almost half of American workers are suffering mental health issues since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to a study released by The Standard insurance company.

Forty-six percent of workers surveyed said they suffered mental health issues, compared to a pre-pandemic finding of 39%. And 11% suffered from “serious” mental health issues during the pandemic, which increased from 7%.

Fifty-five percent of the workforce said a mental health issue affected them more since the pandemic began.

“Our research shows the pandemic is increasing the strain of both mental health and substance abuse issues on workers,” said the US state of Oregon-based company. “And that increase is clearly affecting their productivity on the job more now than before the pandemic.”

Also, 57% of workers said they suffered from substance abuse during the pandemic.

Only 38% said they are comfortable seeking employer help.

The survey showed that younger workers — Generation Z and millennials — are struggling more because they are “affected by behavioral health issues during the pandemic at much higher rates than older generations.”

Less job security, less housing stability, more debt and lower earnings than previous generations are among the reasons for mental health problems for younger workers.

The percentages of workers reporting mental health issues by generation is Generation Z at 71%, millennials 59%, Generation X 36% and Generation Boomer 22%, according to the survey.

The Standard’s data includes two surveys conducted on behavioral health in the workplace, each with more than 1,425 workers. The first was completed in late 2019 and a follow-up in late 2020.

The US is the worst-hit country by the pandemic with nearly 27.2 million cases and more than 468,000 deaths. 

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