More than ever it feels as if mental health is increasingly covered in the media. Attitudes toward therapy and mental health benefits have shifted for individuals, as well as employers trying to attract and retain the right talent for their company. We recently published a report focused on which brands and publishers are driving the conversation around mental health initiatives on the web and social. Here are some of our key takeaways.
According to Mental Health America, nearly 1 in 5 American adults have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year. Another study revealed that 46 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life. Which means that outside of the 44 million US adults already struggling with a mental illness, nearly half the country will be searching for aid or care related to mental health at some point in their life.
As a result, a number of companies have responded by increasing mental health benefits and even creating initiatives dedicated to assisting their employees along their mental health journeys. In today’s world, accounting for and supporting team members who struggle with mental health conditions is crucial, and is a key selling point for those looking to join your company. But how has the conversation about mental health changed over time?
Mental Health Initiatives Content in 2019
Engagement to mental health content has fluctuated since 2016, but engagement to content focused on mental health initiatives specifically, has increased since then. While engagements to stories with any mention of mental health stayed consistently between 1 and 3.5 million this year, the baseline number of engagements for mental health initiatives is not as highly engaged.
Coverage of mental health initiatives stays between 25k and 100k engagements throughout the year, which seems a lot lower, but conversations surrounding the subject have been increasing steadily since 2016. The spike in coverage this past February came primarily from two stories. The first was a widely-shared article from McGill Media quoting a study about taking trips with your friends.
Second, coverage of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s announcement to prioritize increased access to mental health treatment and suicide prevention efforts in the state also drove a significant amount of engagements in February.
Top Web Publishers by Engagement
The publisher with the most engagements to mental health content was Business Insider, followed closely by NBC and BBC’s UK site. The top articles for these publications often covered ways to improve mental health through exercise or facts about depression disproportionately affecting different generations.
Business Insider’s most engaged article was about Yale and Oxford research claiming that exercise makes you happier than money, generating over 1 million engagements for the publisher. These publishers did not push out the most content related to mental health, but rather had one or two articles in the space do very well, pushing their engagements higher that publications dedicated solely to health.
Most Engaged Mental Health Initiatives Articles in 2019
While mental health is generally being talked about more openly, employees are hoping their workplaces catch on and offer support during particularly trying times. Mental health initiatives have made their way into headlines across the globe and though they aren’t as high in engagement, many brands are being lauded for their contributions to a better workplace.
Starbucks made headlines the first week of September with their announcement of mental health services as a new employee benefit. The viral story about a woman’s request for a mental health day (and her CEO’s understanding response) featured again this year, and several local organizations made headlines for their community contributions to help destigmatize mental health.
The most engaged story around mental health initiatives though, was negative, as United Behavioral Health was under fire for putting the bottom line over patient’s health. With around 10 million adults unable to afford mental health treatment due to lack of benefits, the article made waves across social.
These are just a few of the insights from our latest report. For the full version which covers how conversations are emerging on social and which brands are taking a stand, read the rest here.
Like what you see? If these in-depth looks at how stories are spreading across the web and social interest you, take a look at our NewsWhip Research Center for other topics or learn how to create these reports for yourself.