29 March 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Data gathered by mental health charity Mind to give an insight into the mental health of 15,000 employees participating in its first Workplace Wellbeing Index shows that just over half (53 per cent) of staff who disclosed poor mental health at work say they feel supported by their workplace.
And 72 per cent say they had been made aware of the support measures available such as counselling, a staff support network or buddying systems, the new benchmark of best policy and practice for staff mental health found.
Mind surveyed 15,000 employees within 30 organisations taking part in the Index including Deloitte, HMRC, the Environment Agency, Jaguar Land Rover and PepsiCo.
Of those staff disclosing their poor mental health at work (2,200 employees), just over half (53 per cent) say they felt supported, and 72 per cent say they had been made aware of the support tools such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), counselling, staff support network or informal buddying systems.
More than half (56 per cent) say they were offered reasonable adjustments or support measures, such as changes to hours worked or the nature of some of their duties.
The index highlights the good work and creative initiatives that employers are offering to promote and support positive mental health - from hosting wellness webinars and appointing mental health champions to providing free meditation sessions and tennis tournaments for staff.
The index also provides all employers that have participated with key recommendations on the specific areas for improvement. While the research suggests that, overall, staff working for these organisations report having good mental health at work, where their mental health isn't good they cite their workplace as a contributory factor. Just over 1 in 10 (12 per cent or 1,765 employees) admit their mental health is poor. One in four (26 per cent) experiencing poor mental health put this down to problems at work.
The results also show a discrepancy between how well managers feel they support staff versus how well supported employees feel. Only half of respondents (54 per cent) feel that their line manager supports their mental health, yet three in four line managers (73 per cent) say they would feel confident in supporting a staff member suffering from a mental health problem.
There is still a problem with employees feeling able to talk about their mental health, as only one in four (26 per cent) of all respondents admit they would be likely to seek support from their manager if they were experiencing a problem.