Mental Health at Work

Mental health at Work Report 2017

Mental health remains one of the most difficult topics to talk about at work. According to the Business in the Community Mental Health at Work 2017 Report, employees say they are more comfortable talking about other equality and social issues, including race, age, physical health and religious belief, than are about mental health.

Business in the Community commissioned YouGov to survey over 3,000 people in work across the UK for the Mental Health at Work 2017 Report. Some of the findings include:

  • Three out of every five employees (60%) have experienced mental health issues in the past year because of work
  • Almost a third (31%) of the workforce have been formally diagnosed with a mental health issue.
  • Just 13% felt able to disclose a mental health issue to their line manager
  • Alarmingly, 15% of employees who disclosed a mental health issue were subject to disciplinary procedures, demotion or dismissal.

What can be done?

The time has come to stop talking about the importance of good mental health at work and to start taking action. Good practice exists in some organisations, but for the vast majority of employees, mental health is still a no-go area, a subject that cannot be discussed with colleagues or managers for fear of discrimination and victimisation.

Business in the Community launched the National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey in 2016 to assess the scale of the problem. The results were devastating, yet did not come as any surprise. They reflected their learnings from many years of supporting business to take a proactive approach to supporting mental health and wellbeing.

There are some encouraging signs in the second survey, but progress is frustratingly slow. It urges employers to implement three calls to action.

Download the full 2017 report for the recommendations for employers, senior practitioners, business leaders and line managers.

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