Two thirds of workers are too embarrassed to tell their boss about their mental health issues

New research has found that nearly two thirds (60.2 per cent) of employees feel embarrassed about disclosing information on the state of their mental health with their employer. What’s more, 60.8 per cent feel they cannot talk about it with their boss.

The report explored the views of 1,200 UK workers and found that a third of professionals (31.7 per cent) feel that their workplace is not supportive of mental health, with a further 77.8 per cent believing that the majority of workplaces in the UK are unsupportive. Other key findings from the research include:

Nearly two thirds (64.2 per cent) of workers fear their employer would judge them if they spoke about their mental health issues, with a further 46.8 per cent worrying that doing so will make them look weak and one third (36.7 per cent) fear that they would get fired if they told their boss about their mental health issues

What’s more, 63 per cent said that they would feel guilty taking time off work for mental health reasons.

Lee Biggins, founder of CV-Library comments on the findings:

“Mental health in the workplace continues to be a hot topic, and this is because it is clearly not being dealt with effectively. We are a nation that is under more pressure than ever before and it’s therefore unsurprising that people will be feeling the effects whilst at work.

“Businesses should prioritise creating a culture where openness and honesty are encouraged. In turn, this will ensure that workers feel comfortable confiding in their boss, making coming to work that little bit less stressful.”

With 70.7 per cent of workers admitting that their mental health issues impact their working life, it’s clear that employers need to do more to help make the working day easier for people. When asked what measures they thought employers should introduce to help combat mental health in the workplace, respondents cited the following:

  1. Promote a healthy work/life balance (38.6 per cent)
  2. Create an environment where mental health is not stigmatised (15 per cent)
  3. Refer employees to a counselling service (13.7 per cent)
  4. Talk more openly about mental health (11.9 per cent)
  5. Allow employees to take time out when they need to (8.6 per cent)


In addition, 83.6 per cent said that they think employers should offer ‘mental health days’, in which employees are encouraged to take time out to look after their health, with a further 78 per cent stating that they would be more likely to work for a company that offered ‘mental health days’


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  1. By the time I had finally admitted I was, as I called it to them, suffering stress I was in fact already suffering depression and anxiety. They were not a sympathetic company ever full stop and in fact it was them that had triggered it this time with various circumstances that affected not just myself but the whole workplace. When I challenged them they turned their guns on me.
    When I read this article none of the suggestion points were available. Once they were made aware I was ill they made no attempt to help instead they sped up their elimination of me and dismissed me by using SOSR whilst I was on sick leave and after 6 weeks of absence. Not once had I ever been approached or reprimanded for the reason of SOSR. It was all news to me. I believe my company along with wanting to blank canvas their business for business reasons also realised that I was just about to become a liability or burden after 6 yrs service and effected my removal.
    I see no sympathy but stigma. Whisper, rolled eyes. Even doubt and cynacism so its absolutely no great wonder people dont feel they can admit it. Struggle as I did until something gives or becomes obvious.

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