More workers struggling with mental health » SMEInsider

More workers struggling with mental health

This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week, and amid the encouraging signs of growing understanding of mental issues among employees, there are still some worrying trends from the world of work.

A new survey has revealed that near 4 in 10 employees feel work has a negative impact on their mental health. The Mental Resilience Survey also reported that half (50%) of respondents feel their workplace does not manage mental health issues well.

“The findings show that when it comes to managing mental health in the workplace, employers face a much bigger problem than first appears,” said Westfield Health executive director Dave Capper, who helped conduct the survey.

“Not only are workers reporting that their place of work is impacting negatively on their mental state of mind, but the majority (63 per cent) are also calling for employers and employees to share responsibility and to do more to manage mental resilience and mindfulness in the workplace.”

The research also found:

  • 60% of respondents admit that mental health issues affect their everyday life.
  • 50% of respondents who have suffered with a mental health issue did not take time off work.
  • 63% of respondents want employers and employees to share responsibility and do more to manage mental resilience and mindfulness in the workplace.
  • 40% of respondents found a mental health issue arising due to the negative impact of a physical ailment.


‘A chasm still exists’

According to Rethink Mental Illness director of external affairs Brian Dow, there still exists a gap between managers and the staff they manage.

“On the one hand we have bosses who don’t feel equipped to support their staff properly, and on the other we have employees who don’t feel they can approach their managers, and sometimes even feel they need to lie about why they are having time off, often citing a physical health problem instead,” said Dow in a statement.

“It’s important for people to feel they can talk about mental health in the workplace,” he continued. “It could be something like setting time aside in one-to-ones to ask your employees how they are doing both in and outside of work, developing work-life balance initiatives, or equipping managers to recognize the signs of common mental illness conditions.”