‘Sandwich carers’ in need of more mental health support

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One in five “sandwich carers” – people who care for both children and elderly relatives – would like more mental health support, according to a survey.

Health and wellbeing provider BHSF found that a significant number of employers were not providing the support and empathy employees with caring responsibilities needed to perform to their full potential.

One in three said they had left a job because their employer was not supportive enough of their responsibilities outside of work. This was especially likely among 25-34-year-olds, of whom 39% had walked away from a job because they had not been supported.

The OnePoll survey of 1,000 employees commissioned by BHSF asked about the employee benefits and workplace practices they would like to see in their organisations – 22% said they needed more mental health support while the same percentage wanted better healthcare support for themselves; 23% wanted access to healthcare support for dependents; and 20% said they would like to see their employer issue eldercare vouchers.

More flexible working opportunities were wanted by 32%, while 25% wished to see more understanding of their caring responsibilities from line managers.

Almost half (47%) of carers had hidden their caring responsibilities from their employer, which was perhaps preventing organisations from offering the support employees wanted, BHSF argued.

Brian Hall, chief commercial officer for BHSF, said: “This research clearly demonstrates the need for employers to build an open culture, where their employees feel comfortable to disclose this type of information and also feel able to ask for help when they need it. Added to this, they also need to ensure all employee benefits and support are communicated effectively and are readily available to employees anytime and anywhere.

“Creating honest, two-way dialogue within an organisation is vital to ensure the most relevant benefits are provided which not only deal with any immediate issues but also provide effective, long-lasting support.”

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