48% of people stay silent on mental health in the workplace, study finds

48% of people stay silent on mental health in the workplace, study finds

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

New figures suggest 48% of people in work are staying silent over their mental health, a study says.

Mental health organisation Mind has conducted a survey of almost 44,000 employees, with almost half experiencing stress, low mood and anxiety while working at their current organisation.

Only half of those respondents chose to tell their employer about their difficulties, while more than eight in ten people would continue to go to work when experiencing poor mental health.

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Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, said: “As we mark Mental Health Awareness Week, it is worrying to discover that half of employees still don’t feel able to speak out.

“Too many people struggling with poor mental health, such as stress, anxiety and depression, still feel they need to stay silent. For some, reasons include; not feeling comfortable disclosing their mental health problem, worrying their employer will think they can’t do their job and not wanting to be treated differently.

“We know that changing workplace culture takes time to filter through an organisation. Encouragingly forward-thinking employers, like those organisations taking part in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index, are taking steps in the right direction and their bespoke reports identify what they are doing well and the areas for improvement.

Employers taking part in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index are aiming to create a culture where staff are encourage to talk openly about their mental health.

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“Organisations in the Index recognise that making workplace wellbeing an organisational priority is not just the right thing to do, but makes good business sense too. Those taking part have shown a real commitment to make mental health a priority,” she added.

“It’s great that so many organisations are asking themselves some challenging questions about how they are supporting their workforce and what they can do to provide a better experience.

“We need to see more workplaces encouraging open conversations about mental health and championing a more supportive and open environment.”

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Jessica Carmody, from London, won the Employee Champion Award at Mind’s 2017-18 Workplace Wellbeing Index Awards on April 17, for championing mental health and promoting wellbeing at KPMG, where she works.

"I know what a difference having someone support me with my mental health has made, so I’ve tried to help my colleagues, telling them they’re not alone and speaking up for them by raising awareness of mental health at KPMG and sharing my own story and experiences," she said.

"I hope this award will help me to do even more and truly embed mental health awareness and support throughout our firm.”