Employees embarrassed to admit mental health issues

Failing to help workers with mental health issues can be detrimental to a business. A recent study found more than half of workers in the UK are too embarrassed to admit mental health issue at work.

Embarrassed to discuss mental health issues at work?
New research has found that nearly two thirds (60.2 per cent) of employees feel embarrassed about disclosing information on the state of their mental health with their employer. What’s more, 60.8 per cent feel they cannot talk about it with their boss.

Workplace support for those with mental health issues 

The report – conducted by the UK based independent job board, CV-Library – explored the views of 1,200 UK workers and found that around a third of professionals (31.7 per cent) feel that their workplace is not supportive of mental health, with a further 77.8 per cent believing that the majority of workplaces in the UK are unsupportive. Other key findings from the research include:
  • Nearly two thirds (64.2 per cent) of workers fear their employer would judge them if they spoke about their mental health issues
  • A further 46.8 per cent worrying that doing so will make them look weak
  • One third (36.7 per cent) fear that they would get fired if they told their boss about their mental health issues
  • What’s more, 63 per cent said that they would feel guilty taking time off work for mental health reasons 

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UK workers under increasing pressure

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, commented on the findings, “Mental health in the workplace continues to be a hot topic, and this is because it is clearly not being dealt with effectively.“We are a nation that is under more pressure than ever before and it’s therefore unsurprising that people will be feeling the effects while at work.“Businesses should prioritise creating a culture where openness and honesty are encouraged. In turn, this will ensure that workers feel comfortable confiding in their boss, making coming to work that little bit less stressful.” 

Combatting mental health problems in the workplace

With 70.7 per cent of workers admitting that their mental health issues impact their working life, it’s clear that employers need to do more to help make the working day easier for people. When asked what measures they thought employers should introduce to help combat mental health in the workplace, respondents cited the following: 
  1. Promote a healthy work/life balance (38.6 per cent)
  2. Create an environment where mental health is not stigmatised (15 per cent)
  3. Refer employees to a counseling service (13.7 per cent)
  4. Talk more openly about mental health (11.9 per cent)
  5. Allow employees to take time out when they need to (8.6 per cent)
In addition, 83.6 per cent said that they think employers should offer ‘mental health days’, in which employees are encouraged to take time out to look after their health, with a further 78 per cent stating that they would be more likely to work for a company that offered ‘mental health days’.Mr Biggins continued, “While losing out on staff temporarily may ring alarm bells for employers, it can actually help in the long run.“Mental health should be dealt with in the same way as any other illness and it’s important to offer your employees time off should they need it. There are plenty of avenues to go down, and it’s imperative that you get it right. Otherwise, you could risk losing your employees altogether.”For more information, download CV-Library’s full report on mental health in the workplace, here.For related news and features, visit our Human Resources section. Look out for the launch of 2018's Relocate Awards, entries open in January. Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  

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