Nearly half (48%) of people have experienced a mental health problem in their current job, yet only half of these have felt able to speak to their employer about it.
Mental health support
According to the charity Mind, which conducted a survey of 44,000 people, as many as one in four workers could be suffering in silence.
It found that offering mental health support to managers in particular often had a positive effect on overall employee wellbeing throughout an organisation.
Managers who felt their employer supported their mental health, or helped develop their skills in supporting staff with mental health concerns, were more likely confidently to promote staff wellbeing.
The charity also discovered that manager confidence could be linked with employees feeling that they could disclose their condition to their employer.
Mind chief executive Paul Farmer said: “Over the last few years employers have begun to take staff wellbeing more seriously and we know that many are doing great work around mental health in the workplace. Now is the time for a step change in how we think about mental health at work. All employers need to make it a focus and support their staff.”
The survey’s results were published as Mind and Prince William launched a new online “gateway”, called Mental Health at Work, which brings together mental health support resources, training and advice for both employers and employees.
“It’s clear from our research that when employers support their managers properly, it can make a big difference to the whole organisation. The gateway gives managers the tools they need,” Farmer said.
“Even small changes to policy, approach and workplace culture can make a really big difference to the mental health of those around us.”
António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, which is supporting the Mental Health at Work portal, said: “Our experience shows us that, with the right culture of support, employees can experience poor mental health at times, or live with an ongoing mental health condition, and still succeed and thrive at work.
“We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. As employers, we have a real opportunity to change the way we approach mental health, giving our people the support they need to thrive.”
Last month it was revealed that almost three-quarters of a million more working days were lost in June and July because of mental health-related concerns, compared with the same period in 2017.
Meanwhile, the British Chambers of Commerce and Aviva found that almost a third of businesses had seen an increase in the number of staff taking time off for a mental health issue.