Mental health issues affect approximately one in four people each year, with jobs that require great organisational skills – such as recruitment consultancy – regularly resulting in conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress.
Perhaps surprisingly, a study by CIPD providers discovered that many workers do not believe their employers can support them in the workplace.
The study highlighted the fact that 85% of employees believe there is a stigma attached to mental health issues at work.
58% of those suffering from a mental health issue would worry about telling their employer, with many feeling that their employer does not have the understanding and skills to offer support for anxiety, stress and health problems in their place of work.
The study also found that 26% of workers had lied about why they had taken time off due to being concerned about disclosing stress and anxiety to their boss. Employees worry about appearing weak and it is concerning that vulnerable workers are without proper support.
The managing director of DPG spoke about the problems and agreed that a change needs to occur if companies are to offer employees support in the workplace. Businesses may have support in place; however, employees often do not use the assistance because they fear appearing weak and ineffective.
Whilst there have been many advances in how the UK as a nation includes and supports those with mental health issues, there is still a lot more to be done. Business owners should be creating a trusting and respectful atmosphere for workers, with HR teams setting the process in motion so that employees are not afraid to reveal their issues.
The mental health charity Mind reminds businesses that by ignoring their employee’s mental health issues, companies will experience high costs due to reduced productivity.
This can cost businesses in the UK £15.1bn each year. Health problems and stress are the second largest reason for absence from work, with 70 million working days lost each year.
The study highlighted that it is 18-24-year-olds who most fear being judged by their employer. This age group is least likely to disclose any mental health problems to employers; in contrast, 45- to 54-year-olds are most likely to tell their boss about suffering from mental health issues.
Men are more likely to disclose mental health issues to their bosses, while women are likely not to mention that they are feeling stressed and depressed; instead, they will often state another illness for fear of telling their employers.
The key findings highlight that there is a great need for change, with business owners needing to delegate the responsibility of creating an understanding workplace to their HR teams.
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