A survey of employers has discovered that the number of workers reporting mental health problems is on the rise. The 2015 Absence Management survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that heavy workloads, management style and difficult relationships with colleagues were the principle contributing factors to the rise in stress and anxiety levels in the workplace.
The number of employees suffering from mental illness at work has been rising steadily for the last six years, with more than 40 percent of employers reporting a rise in mental ill-health issues at work in 2015. This figure stood at only 24 per cent in 2009. This does not necessarily mean that offices are becoming tougher places to handle and may instead suggest that people are more willing to talk about their problems than in the past.
“This year’s survey shows the number of reported mental health problems has increased for many employers, and after over half a decade at these levels, we can’t afford to let this issue continue to grow any longer. As a nation we’re getting better at opening up the conversation around mental health, but there is still a long way to go,” Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said of the results.
“There needs to be a lot more focus on this going forward, as well as tailored support from HR for line managers and signposts for employees to access appropriate support. Employers also need to look at how well their corporate culture supports good mental health and employee well-being,” Willmott continued.
The report also found that 22 percent of employers said they were not taking proactive actions to better the mental health of their employees, such as making flexible working available or offering counselling.
The full report, which surveyed 578 organisations across the UK in reference to 1.5 million employees, will be released on 12 October, just after World Mental Health day on the 10th of October.