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Most workers still feel employers fail to deal with mental health issues

The majority of workers with mental health problems would feel unable to disclose their problems to their employers, according to new research conducted by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The survey revealed that only four in ten employees would feel able to discuss mental health problems with their employer. Employers came under fire for failing to support those with mental health issues, with just a quarter of respondents saying that their employer encouraged staff to be open about such problems.  Twenty-one per cent felt that that their employer was bad at supporting those with mental health issues, with 31 per cent saying they were unaware what support, if any, was available at work.

The research underlines the fact that there is a persistent stigma attached to mental health in the workplace and highlights a lack of willingness on the part of employers to address a very real problem which can impact heavily on the bottom line. It's estimated that mental health-related sickness absence costs the UK economy £8.4 billion a year, with presenteeism among sufferers costing employers almost double that in terms of reduced productivity.

Dealing effectively and sensitively with mental health issues in the workplace need not be costly and can pay huge dividends in the long term. Acas provides guidance on dealing with mental health in the workplace, as well as training in mental health awareness and managing stress at work.

Visit the Acas training and business solutions.

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