The Pandemic Shift: Mental Wellness at Work

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By Bonnie Johnson,
Employees’ mental health is a growing concern, further amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. If a person felt loneliness, isolation, anxiety or insecurity before, Coronavirus has only amplified these feelings for many. polled ag employees about shifts in their mental health during COVID-19; while 35% said there’s been no change, nearly 60% said there’s been a negative influence on their mental health. 

It’s no doubt that an employee’s mental wellness affects and influences their work. Many organizations are making great strides to address this topic, but there’s still much work to be done.

One-half of employee respondents to the survey said their employer provided mental health communication, education or support in the prior month. This leaves half of the ag workforce looking for support during a crisis. Unfortunately, one of the most common responses from employees was, “Nothing, my employer has done nothing to address mental health.”

Where do we begin as an industry and business? A dialogue about mental health is the beginning, with open communication and support for all employees. This initiative is not only for those struggling with a mental illness, but for those who are supporting them. A supervisor may come face-to-face with a situation they feel unprepared to handle. The emotional toll on those in supportive roles can also be intense.  Managers, leaders and coworkers often need training to understand and know how to help effectively. is hosting a “Mental Health in Ag” 2-part virtual workshop on September 14 and 15. This workshop is a remarkable learning opportunity to invest in yourself, your operation, and your organization. Find out more at

Here are a few simple tips to make your employees’ mental wellness a priority during the pandemic:

Find links to additional resources on COVID-19 Information & Resources for USA Ag.  

Quick link to the latest COVID results:
North American Agriculture Workforce During COVID-19 Survey Results

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