Half of all employees (50%) say that they have never been asked about stress, anxiety and depression at work, according to new research from Bupa released this Mental Health Awareness Week.

The survey of 50 business leaders and 500 employees reveals that this statistic is despite more than three quarters (76%) of business leaders reporting that they actively encourage these one-to-one conversations and four in five (80%) saying they believe they have effective measures in place within their organisation to help their staff with mental health.

Patrick Watt, corporate director at Bupa, said:

“There is a clear disconnect between what leaders believe they are doing about mental health in the workplace versus how employees feel.

“Businesses need to take action. Managers need to be trained to spot the signs and know how to support employees to get the right help. Employers should also take steps to help prevent mental health problems from occurring by creating an open culture and putting practices in place that support good mental wellbeing.”

Less than a third of workers (32%) with a mental health condition agreed that their employer was able to support their needs. Almost two thirds of respondents revealed that they were unhappy in their current role because of the way they have been treated and a further 70 percent said that there is not an “open culture” in their organisation to discuss their mental health.

Over two thirds (69%) of business leaders admitted that their organisation needs to do more to support people with mental health difficulties.

Patrick Watt added:

“Employers need to understand the business benefits and their moral responsibility for engaging with mental health and take active steps to improve employee wellbeing.

“At Bupa, we offer many of our members the chance to self-refer, supporting them to access the confidential support and treatment they need without seeing a GP or a psychiatrist first – helping them to access the help they need and recover more quickly.”