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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Most workers would not discuss a mental health problem with their manager

Written by Ella Pickover

Employees feel as though they cannot talk about mental health problems in the workplace, a new poll suggests.

Three-quarters of people said they would not be likely to seek support from their manager if they were experiencing a mental health problem, according to a poll from the mental health charity Mind.

The charity also found there is a discrepancy between how well managers feel they support staff versus how well supported employees feel.

Only half of employees surveyed by the charity feel their line manager supports their mental health, but 73% of line managers said they would feel confident supporting a member of staff experiencing a mental health problem.

The charity is calling for employers to create an open culture where people feel able to discuss their wellbeing and tackle the causes of stress among their staff.

The results come from a survey of 15,000 employees participating in Mind's Workplace Wellbeing Index. Thirty different organisations took part, including Deloitte, HMRC, the Environment Agency, Jaguar Land Rover and PepsiCo.

Mind said the research suggests that overall, staff working for these organisations reported having good mental health at work.

But where employees felt their mental health wasn't good, they felt their workplace was a contributory factor.

Overall, 12% said their mental health was poor, while a quarter of these people said this was due to problems at work.

Of the staff who had disclosed poor mental health at work, half said they felt supported and 72% said they had been made aware of the support tools such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), counselling, staff support networks or informal buddying systems.

Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, said: "In the last few years, we've seen employers make great strides when it comes to tackling stress and supporting the mental wellbeing of their staff, including those with a diagnosed mental health problem.

"Our research shows that mental health problems are very common among employees who work for organisations of various sizes and sectors.

"Fortunately, forward-thinking employers are making mental health a priority and we're delighted to recognise and celebrate those who've taken part in our Workplace Wellbeing Index. In our first year, we've seen good practice right across the board, from each and every one of the thirty pioneering employers to take part."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved.

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