Mental wellbeing needs more support offered in the workplace say managers

More than three quarters of managers are calling for their business to offer more support and education around mental wellbeing in the workplace.

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This is according to Opinium’s Workplace Mental Wellbeing report, which was conducted in partnership with the University of Warwick. Opinium is a market research and insight consultancy. The majority of managers (77 per cent) feel their business should do more in this area.

This comes after it was announced that 79 per cent of employers said that their employees do not always disclose the true reason for their absence.  With 88 per cent of employers believing their workers have taken time off due to mental health in the previous 12 months.

The Opinium research found that 67 per cent of employees who have struggled with their mental health have never told an employer. Mainly due to the fact they feel doing so would be embarrassing or could jeopardies their career.

Those who did take time off work due to mental health issues, 54 per cent of them felt pressured to return to work too early.

More than a third (35 per cent) of employees do not receive any help when it comes to mental wellbeing in the workplace, with 80 per cent saying suffering from such a condition has impacted their work.

Still, 33 per cent of managers would not know what to do if an employee approached them and told them they struggle with mental health issues.

Just over a fifth (21 per cent) want to implement mental health days that allow employees to take days off due to mental issues with no questions asked.

Sophie Holland, senior research executive at Opinium said:

Clearly there are still significant barriers preventing employees from talking about their mental wellbeing to their employers, and this needs to change. Culture is key here – employers need to work to create safe spaces where their employees feel comfortable talking about mental health and wellbeing, both good and bad experiences; allowing employees to bring their full selves to work. However, it is also important that workplaces have the support structures and initiatives in place. Every workplace is different, and different teams may need different initiatives to support them. Therefore, it is vital that employers listen to their employees and understand what works best for them.

Opinium conducted this research by asking 2,009 UK workers aged 18+ from the 12th to 26th March 2019.

Interested in wellbeing? Find out about our 2019 Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum

1 Comment

  1. Ann McCracken

    Pressure in the workplace is at an all time high – with staff expected and often wanting to stay up to date with work e mails and texts as well as high/unrealistic expectations. The result is anxiety, depression, mood swings, increased negative thinking, irritability,’burn out’, stomach ulcers, memory lapses, panic attacks, low motivation etc. All these sign/symptoms are evidence of a body and mind in distress – ‘stress injury’. With all the focus recently on mental/psychological injury, it is easy to miss the physical symptoms which are also often present and just as debilitating.
    The cause is two-fold, heavy pressure to perform and sometimes unrealistic deadlines; sometimes the pressure comes from ‘the boss’ who are themselves under pressure from further up the chain; however many people have a significant personal ‘driver’ to be the best, do their best/utmost to ‘please’. These combined or singly, cause the symptoms described above, requiring time off to regroup and start all over again!
    Yes….you can offer time out, encourage use of your Employee Assistance Programme(EAP) but far better to review staffing levels, competencies and re-training as the job and expectations change and carefully review management skill sets to include emotional intelligence and exclude bullying management styles.
    This will undoubtedly result in increased costs and innovative approaches.
    Awareness of Mental Ill Health and Physical Ill Health caused by excessive pressures (internal or external) require reviews of the work – particularly what has changed – and agreed positive evaluation to support manager and employee to ‘get the job done’.


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