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Black Employees Value Mental Health Over All Else

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Black employees value their mental health more than any other racial group, according to a new study. 

In their latest study, the employment platform Oyster surveyed over 2,500 employees around the world with different career paths. 

In their findings, they found that Black employees chose their mental-well being over anything else, including hobbies and activities as well as physical well-being. Overall, approximately 58% of Black employees reported that their state of mind has more importance; in comparison, approximately 50% of Hispanic employees, 45% of white employees and 38% of Asian employees reported the same. 

“This data could indicate how Black employees place more emphasis on their mental health than others because, well, they have to,” said the Oyster researchers in their report. “Bearing the brunt of systemic racism, prejudice, and societal injustice, perhaps Black knowledge workers must put more energy into protecting their mental health and can less afford to spend it elsewhere.”

Despite the importance of mental health, Oyster reports that there is still struggle in the workplace affecting the workers’ ability to focus. According to their findings, the state of the economy is a main concern for workers, impacting almost 75% of the employees involved in the study. 

Of this percentage, 60% was made up of Black employees who are disproportionately affected by the higher prices of food, rent and more. Overall, Black employees reported being more concerned, stressed and unable to focus on other issues, such as global health concerns, at rates higher than any other racial or ethnic group. In contrast, white employees reported the least concern about the issues. 

“One of the things that would be great to see is companies thinking, ‘How can we better support our Black employees?’” said Simon Pickerill, one of the researchers in Oyster’s report, per NBC News. “How can we better support our employees of color, make them feel safe and give them an environment where they can really thrive?”

Although Black employees reported more concern about mental health, they are amongst the people that are most often not treated. According to the latest information by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, only one in three Black Americans that are diagnosed are given the care they need. 

As a result, Black communities continue to record higher mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Black Americans were amongst the groups with the highest rate of serious psychological distress, recording nearly 12% of all reported issues.

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