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Half of employees say mental health not discussed at work

Most employers recognise the need for an 'open culture' in the workplace to tackle mental health issues and many say they have the framework in place for it.

But research from Bupa has found a huge disconnect between these assertions and employees' experiences.

Three-quarters of business leaders believe they have actively encouraged managers to address and support employees' mental health, and 80 per cent say they have effective measures in place to deal with mental health.

Half of employees, on the other hand, say that they have never been asked about stress, depression or anxiety in personal conversations with managers. And only a third agreed that their organisations had effective mental health support in place.

Of employees who had a mental health condition, six in ten said they were not happy in their current role because of their treatment at work, and seven in ten didn't believe there was an 'open culture' at their organisation.

While most employers were bullish about their mental health provision, 69 per cent admitted that their organisation needed to do more to prevent stress.

Clear disconnect

'There is a clear disconnect between what leaders believe they are doing about mental health in the workplace versus how employees feel,' Patrick Watt, corporate director at Bupa said.

'Businesses need to take action. Managers need to be trained to spot the signs and know how to support employees to get the right help.

'Employers should also take steps to help prevent mental health problems from occurring by creating an open culture and putting practices in place that support good mental wellbeing.

'Employers need to understand the business benefits and their moral responsibility for engaging with mental health and take active steps to improve employee wellbeing.'

The survey investigated the opinions of 50 business leaders and 500 employees with and without mental health conditions.

Acas publications and services

Acas has published the pdf icon Promoting positive mental health in the workplace [284kb] to help employers tackle the stigma surrounding mental health. The booklet sets out practical measures to improve wellbeing, and to build supportive working environments.

Acas can help you review your health and wellbeing arrangements and find ways to reduce organisational stress. See Stress: how Acas can help for more details.

 

Practical Acas training on related areas is also available on Mental Health Awareness for Employers, Stress, Managing absence at work and essential Skills for supervisors.

For free, impartial advice and guidance visit Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.


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