Half of people have experienced a mental health problem in their current job, new research by mental health charity Mind has revealed.
The survey of more than 44,000 employees also found only half of those who had experienced poor mental health had talked to their employer about it.
To tackle the issue, The Duke of Cambridge has teamed up with several mental health organisations to launch a free resource aimed at improving staff wellbeing.
The resource is much-needed, it would seem. As many as 300,000 people lose their job each year due to a mental health problem. Furthermore poor mental health at work costs the UK economy between £72bn and £99bn.
Separate research by Mind found one in three employers do not know where to look for information and guidance, and Heads Together research shows that just 2% of people were prepared to talk to HR about mental health.
But being a supportive manager can make a huge difference. Managers who felt their employer supported their mental health, or actively learnt about supporting team members with mental health problems, were far more likely to feel confident in promoting staff wellbeing.
Manager confidence, in turn, is closely linked with whether employees feel able to disclose. Those staff who felt their manager supported their mental health or could spot the signs that someone might be struggling were far more likely to say they would be able to talk about their mental health at work.
The new online Mental Health at Work ‘gateway’ will be launched later today by the Duke of Cambridge. The UK-wide portal is a free resource for both employers and employees. It brings together information, advice, resources and training that workplaces can use to improve wellbeing and give employees the mental health support they need.
Discussing the launch, Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “We are really proud to be involved in this piece of work, which offers a one-stop shop for anyone looking to improve mental wellbeing in their workplace and support staff with mental health problems.
“We know that employers want to do more and are starting to see mental health as a priority, but often don’t know where to start. The new online Mental Health at Work gateway will change that.”
He added that even small changes to policy, approach and workplace culture can make a big difference to the mental health of others.
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI – this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org