Workers Staying Silent Over Mental Health

Workers remaining silent on mental health

Mental Health Awareness Week for 2018 focused on how stress impacts our lives, from the workplace to our home life. A new survey from the mental health charity Mind saw almost 44,000 employees queried from 74 organisations that took part in the Workplace Wellbeing Index.

With mental health becoming a more important topic for people it is equally important to ensure that people feel comfortable talking openly about issues to do with their mental health. People often feel that there is still a stigma surrounding mental health which makes it harder for them to talk about it.

There has been a rise recently of celebrities opening up about their own experiences. In February, actor Brendan Fraser spoke with GQ about his mental health struggles while Ryan Reynolds recently talked about his anxiety. The positive effect of this is that people may feel more comfortable talking about themselves as mental health becomes more normalised in society with people being so willing to talk.

Employees Struggling To Communicate About Mental Health

According to the Mind survey however, we are still not close to eliminating the stigma that mental health has in the workplace. Almost half of employees (48%) who participated in the study reported that they had experienced poor mental health while they have been working at their organisation.

Out of those who responded to this, half chose to inform their employer about the mental health problems they were suffering with. (10,554). Along with this, many saw their mental health issues as something that should not interfere with their workload with 84% of respondents saying that they would continue to work even when they experienced poor mental health.

This is at odds with how people would react if they had a physical illness or poor physical health, with only over half (58%) saying that they would attend work. Even more startling is that only two fifths (42%) of respondents felt that they had a manager who would be able to spot the signs of employees struggling with poor mental health.

Workplaces Often Exacerbate Poor Mental Health

It is perhaps unsurprising though that many employees feel they cannot communicate with their managers. A study from Expert Market saw 2,000 workers being queried about workplace unhappiness and the causes. From this, 52% reported that their boss was their biggest cause of discontent.

But there is positive news however with many employers aiming to create a workplace culture that allows staff to not only talk openly about mental problems and issues, but to feel comfortable about it as well. 61% of the employers who took part in the Workplace Wellbeing Index said that they intended to increase their spending on workplace wellbeing activities.

This can include ensuring that managers have training to spot the signs of mental health problems along with the ability to sensitively navigate these topics. It can also be simply encouraging people to be more open in a positive environment, allowing them to feel that they are able to communicate with others.

For more information on mental health, visit some of the below links:

https://www.mind.org.uk/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

About Author

Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

Related Posts