A new survey by Acas has found that the mental health of nearly half of British workers (47%) has suffered due to the rising cost of living.
Acas commissioned YouGov to ask whether the mental health of employees in Britain has been negatively impacted by the rising cost of living.
Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said:
"The rise in the cost of living has been challenging for many people and our poll reveals that it has had an adverse impact on the mental health of a substantial number of workers in Britain.
"Employers that create an environment where staff can openly talk about their mental health are better equipped to support them at work. Offering practical tips such as signposting to financial advice can also help.
"Employees should also take steps to look after their own mental health and have coping strategies in place. Acas has advice and training on how to support and manage mental health and wellbeing at work."
Acas advice for employers on managing staff mental health includes:
- be approachable, available and encourage team members to talk to you if they're having problems
- keep in regular contact with your team to check how they are coping
- respect confidentiality and be calm, patient, supportive and reassuring if a staff member wants to have a chat about their mental health
- consider whether someone may need adjustments at work, for example working more flexibly to save on costs
- look after your own mental health and get support if you feel under more pressure than usual – this support could be a colleague at work, a mental health network or a counsellor
- clearly communicate the internal and external support available to staff – this can include offering practical help such as signposting to financial advice or bringing advice providers into work
Acas advice for workers to support their own mental health and wellbeing includes:
- talk to people you work with or friends about how you're feeling
- speak to your manager about how you're doing and your situation
- reflect on what helps you feel more positive and what does not
- make time for activities you enjoy
- check with your employer on what support is available at work
- Find out more about health and wellbeing at work
1. Acas commissioned YouGov to poll employees in a representative sample of British businesses (excluding sole traders). The survey was carried out online and the total sample size was 1008 employees. Fieldwork was undertaken between 30 March and 3 April 2023.
Participants were asked: To what extent, if at all, would you say your mental health has been affected negatively by the rising cost of living?
- 10%: Significantly
- 37%: Moderately
- 35%: Not that much
- 17%: Not at all
- 1%: Do not know
- 1%: Prefer not to say
2. Acas has a range of training courses to help employers manage mental health at work.