Feb 13, 2020 - Health

Employers struggle to handle mental illness

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Reported mental illnesses are more common among young people than other generations, and employers are struggling to figure out how to accommodate their young employees' mental health issues, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Between the lines: These young workers grew up receiving accommodations in school that helped them manage their mental health, but the laws — and pressures — around employment are different.

Details: Mental illnesses covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act often have vague or invisible symptoms, which can make accommodations more difficult for employers than those for physical health issues.

  • But workers are making more requests for such accommodations, WSJ reports, and more are alleging that they're experiencing discrimination because of their mental health conditions.
  • The number of discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that cited anxiety disorders rose from 65 in 2006 to 371 in 2019.

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Some schools give mental health days as young Americans' suicide rate rises

Photo: Adam Augustus Crowley/Getty Images

States and school districts around the country are passing legislation to allow students to take mental health days as young people struggle with depression and anxiety, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The changes come as the suicide rate among young people continues to rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported suicide was the second leading cause of death among people ages 10-24 in 2017.

Scoop: Snapchat's new wellness push

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Snapchat is launching a new set of tools and custom content around mental health and wellness, sources tell Axios. One tool includes a search function that surfaces health and wellness resources on topics including depression, suicide and anxiety.

Why it matters: It's the first product launch around what will be a bigger health and wellness push from Snapchat that will be rolled out in the next few months.

Scoop: Headspace raises $93 million

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Meditation app maker Headspace has raised $53 million in new equity funding and another $40 million in debt.

Bottom line: Headpsace will use some of the proceeds to differentiate itself from rivals, via the development of a new product that will focus on mental health tools for patients with certain chronic diseases.