Financial services staff reluctant to raise mental health concerns, survey finds

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Three-quarters of staff who have a mental health concern are reluctant to make use of support provided by their employer, with those in financial services particularly hesitant to get help out of fear of receiving a formal diagnosis.

Almost half of the 1,100 employees polled for Morgan McKinley’s Mental Health in the Workplace survey said they were either struggling with their mental health or believed they had a mental health condition.

The financial services sector had the highest proportion of employees who had not sought a diagnosis but thought they had an issue (53%). This, Morgan McKinley said, suggested financial services staff were reluctant to seek help because they were worried about being diagnosed with a condition.

The professional services sector had the greatest proportion with a diagnosed mental health condition (23%), compared with 17% in financial services.

Despite increasing awareness about mental health at work, 39% of respondents across all professions said their employer did not offer any mental health support, while 34% were not aware that any support was available.

Of those who had not been offered any support by their employer, 54% believed it would benefit their mental health.

Andrea Webb, people director at Morgan McKinley, said the historical view that having a mental health condition is a “weakness” was changing, but many employers were still not doing enough to help their staff.

“The fundamental foundations are in place at many organisations, but more needs to be done to improve confidence around the discussion of mental health issues at work so that individuals can get the help they require.

“Having programmes in place is not only a useful attraction and retention tool that can help create a happy and positive office culture, but also it ultimately contributes to a more productive workforce as people get the support they need,” she said.

Improving mental health support is likely to translate into productivity gains for organisations, the survey found. Only 2% of staff polled said their productivity was unaffected when they were struggling with their mental health.

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