Over half (57 percent) of UK employees have suffered from mental health problems while in employment, according to new research from Canada Life Group Insurance. This is a telling sign of the prevalence of mental health issues, with stress (43 percent) and depression (26 percent) the most commonly experienced problems. Figures from Canada Life Group Insurance in the first quarter of 2015 highlighted depression as the fastest-growing reason why people use the employee counselling helpline included with their group income protection product.
Of those who experienced mental health issues, half (51 percent) have taken time off from work as a result. 14 percent took longer than a month off, including 5 percent who were off for more than 6 months. In addition, three in five (60 percent) said their mental health issues have negatively affected their performance at work. Failure to tackle mental health problems in the workplace not only affects employee wellbeing, but also impacts productivity.
The findings also reveal that working environments can have a negative impact on mental health. One in five (19 percent) of all employees say their workplace has had a negative impact on their mental health, with the most common causes being high pressure and excessive workloads (both 25 percent). Workplace bullying or unpleasant behavior from a boss is also cited by 15 percent as a cause of mental health worries.