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13th August 2019

Employees still scared to open up about mental health, says survey

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More than three-quarters of managers believe businesses lack key support and education around mental wellbeing in the workplace, as new research reveals one in five employees with mental health problems worry that telling their employer could jeopardise their career.

A poll of 2,009 UK employees and managers found that 56 per cent of employees had at some point struggled with their mental health or wellbeing and, of these, 80 per cent said it had impacted on their work.

The findings from the survey showed that:

  • More than two-thirds (67 per cent) admitted they did not tell their employer about their mental ill-health. This was because they were too embarrassed (23 per cent), they didn’t think their employer could help (24 per cent) or they feared it would harm their career (19 per cent).
  • Managers wanted more support from their organisations when it came to helping staff with mental health problems.
  • Two-thirds (66 per cent) of managers surveyed said they would know what to do if an employee directly told them they were struggling with their mental health or wellbeing, while 49 per cent said they did not know how to support mental health and wellbeing more generally in the workplace.
  • 77 per cent of managers said businesses needed more support and education around mental wellbeing in the workplace to help those struggling.

The findings from the study highlight the need for organisations to address their workplace cultures, in order for employees to feel comfortable discussing their mental health with their line managers. To help you get a better understanding of how to effectively deal with mental health in the workplace, check out our Employer Guide, Managing Mental Health in the Workplace, which provides practical advice for Line Managers, and HR & Diversity professionals. Moreover, check out our Infographic on mental health.