As we enter the fourth year of our Mental Health at Work report with Business in the Community, we are seeing some encouraging improvements around mental health in the workplace. But a lot of work is still ahead.
More employers are talking about mental health issues, supported by the rise of mental health first aid training and employee-based support routes, yet our findings show there is a need for employers to do more. A holistic, integrated approach is essential.
There are often strong health and safety measures to tackle occupational problems like physical injury, but few organisations have similar measures in place for mental health. Managers acknowledge that they need to do more but they are often hampered by other organisational priorities and pressures.
It’s been revealing to focus in on some new areas in this year’s report. There’s an increasing need to understand intersectionality better. Worryingly, a third of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other (LGBT+) employees reported having hid their sexuality at work for fear of discrimination in the last year. Nearly a third of black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) employees felt they have experienced negative outcomes in the last year due to their ethnicity. Those with a disability fare even worse.
Financial wellbeing continues to be a huge problem. There is a fine line in the disparity between what the employee wants and what the employer offers in the area of support. Employers either aren’t offering financial advice or support isn’t accessible or visible enough in the workplace. Only 5% of employees say they receive financial support in the workplace, but whether this is reality or perceived reality due to lack of promotion, is interesting for employers to consider.
In partnership with Business in the Community’s Wellbeing Leadership Team, we’re helping businesses move from good to great in terms of improving their mental health capability. We’re trying to get people engaged on the journey, even if they focus on the basics. And we’re going on this journey with a host of organisations to cascade good practice by engaging with their stakeholders and supply chain.
In order to take action, you’ve got to talk action. Good is good, but it’s time to aspire to be great.
Download the full Mental Health at Work 2019 report and learn more about the recommendations for action.
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Mental Health at Work 2019 Report, BiTC. The 2019 Mental Health at Work report presents key findings of a survey of over 4,000 full and part-time employees in the UK that is representative of gender, age, industry sector, region and business size, excluding sole traders and those working alone. The survey was conducted by YouGov and led by Business in the Community, the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, in partnership with Mercer Marsh Benefits and the BITC Wellbeing Leadership Team. The report was carried out with 9 national partners, CIPD, Mind, Mental Health at Work, Mental Health First Aid England, The Institute of Leadership and Management, British Disability Foundation, Involve, Salary Finance and Society of Occupational Medicine.
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