FRIDAY 18 MAY 2018 2:52 PM


Mental health issues are often described as a ‘silent struggle’, with the number of people suffering with anxiety and depression, among others, growing every year. Despite society slowly but steadily removing the stigma around health mental issues in recent years, there is still change that needs to occur in the workplace.

Mental health charity Mind has conducted a new survey in the framework of Mental Health Awareness Week, which tries to raise awareness on how stress affects people’s lives. The results came from the 74 organisations that took part in Mind’s latest Workplace Wellbeing Index, which highlights the costs of overlooking mental welfare in the workplace.

Emma Mamo, head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, says, “As we mark Mental Health Awareness Week, it is worrying to discover that half of employees still don’t feel able to speak out. Too many people struggling with poor mental health, such as stress, anxiety and depression, still feel they need to stay silent. For some, reasons include; not feeling comfortable disclosing their mental health problem, worrying their employer will think they can’t do their job and not wanting to be treated differently.”

The findings revealed that almost half of the 44,000 employees that took part have experienced mental health problems, such as stress, low mood and anxiety, at their current workplace, with only half of them choosing to let the employer know of their struggle.

Furthermore, 84% of employees would continue to go to work when faced with poor mental health, in comparison to 58% that would do the same when having poor physical health. Merely 42% of all employees thought their manager would be able to recognise poor mental health symptoms, while 21% felt that they could not cope with their workload.

 Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index objective is to encourage workplace environments where staff can openly talking about their mental health. This year, 61% of participants stated that they will increase the budget for workplace wellbeing activities to create a positive and accepting environment.

Mamo says, “Organisations in the index recognise that making workplace wellbeing an organisational priority is not just the right thing to do, but makes good business sense too. We need to see more workplaces encouraging open conversations about mental health and championing a more supportive and open environment.”

The organisations taking part in the index were ranked based on the mental health support they give to the staff. The Environment Agency, sponsored by DEFRA, came at the top of the Workplace Wellbeing Index for the second year in a row, achieving the highest mark in the Gold category.

For more from Communicate magazine, follow us on Twitter @Communicatemag