Bosses urged to face up to employees’ mental health problems

Leading employers have warned managers not to bury their heads in the sand when dealing with mental health issues at work.

One in four employees experiences stress, anxiety, depression and other forms of mental ill-health in any given year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Yet research shows senior executives are largely unaware of this and so are unable to manage it effectively.

Nearly three-quarters of 550 British businesses surveyed by mental health charity Shaw Trust estimated that 5% of employees or less suffered from a mental health problem at any point in their working life, while almost half suggested that none of their employees would.

Beverly Ashby, HR director at health insurance firm Bupa, said: “It’s important for managers to understand how they can identify and manage stress in their teams.

“While HR might want to champion the issue, it’s the managers who are on the front line.”

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