Business in the Community’s study shows shifting attitudes towards mental wellbeing at work with more employers acknowledging their responsibility to staff mental wellbeing
“Despite the increased prominence of mental health as a workplace issue, it remains the elephant in the room that over a million people face serious repercussions for disclosing mental health issues to their employers. This report is an urgent call to action for collective leadership from employers to end this injustice and provide better support. It is time to challenge the myth that having mental health issues equates to poor performance. We must equip managers with the knowledge and training to make the reasonable workplace adjustments that enable people to stay in work and thrive.”
Young people are more likely to have been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition (39 per cent vs 28 per cent of employees in their 50s) – but less likely to disclose these concerns to their bosses then older workers. Only a third of 18-29-year olds are comfortable talking with their managers about mental health compared to almost half of people in their 40s.
There is a disconnect between how senior leaders and employees view this issue. 61 per cent of owners, CEO’s and Managing Directors believe their employee’s mental health is well supported compared to 40 per cent of non-managers.
“The study shows a positive trend with an increasing number of employers taking responsibility for staff mental wellbeing and employing an increasingly diverse set of tools to raise awareness of mental health issues,” said Dr Wolfgang Seidl, UK and European Workplace Health Consulting Leader for Mercer – sponsor of the study. “However, a minority of employers seem to follow an unsophisticated response to employees’ disclosure of mental health issues by administering disciplinary action, dismissal or demotion. Destigmatisation of mental health is sorely needed and can be achieved by moving from a piecemeal approach of isolated tactical interventions to a truly strategic approach. Having in place a coherent mental health pathway with appropriate referral opportunities at the right time is essential.”
Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.