A major study into workplace wellbeing* by the mental health charity Mind has revealed today that poor mental health at work is widespread, with half (48 per cent) of all people surveyed saying they have experienced a mental health problem in their current job.
The survey of more than 44,000 employees also revealed that only half of those who had experienced poor mental health had talked to their employer about it, suggesting as many as one in four UK workers is struggling in silence with problems such as anxiety, low mood and stress.
Last year’s Thriving at Work report, following an independent review commissioned by the Prime Minister, revealed that as many as 300,000 people lose their job each year due to a mental health problem, and that poor mental health at work costs the UK economy between £72bn and £99bn. Separate research by Mind also revealed that one in three employers do not know where to look for information and guidance, and Heads Together research shows that just 2 per cent of people were prepared to talk to HR about mental health.
We are really proud to be involved in this piece of work, which offers a one-stop shop for anyone looking to improve mental wellbeing in their workplace and support staff with mental health problems. We know that employers want to do more and are starting to see mental health as a priority, but often don’t know where to start. The new online Mental Health at Work gateway will change that.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind
In-depth analysis of the survey has revealed that properly supporting managers can make a huge difference. Managers who felt their employer supported their mental health, or actively built their skills in supporting team members with mental health problems, were far more likely to feel confident in promoting staff wellbeing. Manager confidence, in turn, is closely linked with whether employees feel able to disclose. Those staff who felt their manager supported their mental health or could spot the signs that someone might be struggling were far more likely to say they would be able to talk about their mental health at work.
The latest findings come as a new online Mental Health at Work ‘gateway’ is launched, later today, by HRH the Duke of Cambridge. Mind, with support from The Royal Foundation, Heads Together and 11 other organisations has created the UK-wide portal as a free resource for both employers and employees. The gateway brings together information, advice, resources and training that workplaces can use to improve wellbeing and give employees the mental health support they need.
I'm delighted that The Royal Foundation has supported Mind in creating such a valuable tool. If you are a business owner, a team leader, a line manager, you work in HR, or just believe in supporting the wellbeing of your colleagues – Mental Health at Work can help...My ambition is that this gateway can be the start of a big shift in working culture. It can genuinely help businesses ensure mental wellbeing is part of everyday working life and because the places we work are so pivotal in our lives, they can also be the drivers of even bigger change.
The Duke of Cambridge
For the first time, the Mental Health at Work gateway brings together a wealth of content enabling employers and employees to easily search a huge range of resources according to their size and type of business, creating a bespoke package of support to improve wellbeing at work.
Mental Health at Work can be found at mentalhealthatwork.org.uk The 11 partners are Heads Together, CIPD, the Federation of Small Businesses, the City Mental Health Alliance, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England , the Work and Health Unit, Public Health England, NCVO, The Work Foundation, Time to Change and the Institute of Directors.
*Research reference: Mind (2017/2018) 43,892 staff from across the 74 organisations taking part in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index shared their views and experiences through staff surveys
45 per cent of line managers who felt their employer had helped them to build their skills said they had a good understanding of how to promote the wellbeing of their staff, compared with 25 per cent of those who did not – almost twice as likely.
61 per cent of line managers who felt their employer supported their mental health said they had a good understanding of how to promote the wellbeing of their staff, compared with 12 per cent of those who did not – five times more likely.
78 per cent of staff who felt their line manager supported their mental health said they would feel comfortable to disclose a mental health problem, compared with just seven per cent of those who didn’t – 11 times more likely.
60 per cent of staff who feel confident their manager could spot the signs and symptoms of a mental health problem felt comfortable disclosing, compared with just 17 per cent of those who didn’t – more than three times as likely.