Mental Health at Work Report - 2017

Executive Summary / Introduction

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Business is waking up to the scale of poor mental health in the workplace, but there is still a long way to go.  Our second National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey in partnership with YouGov, part of a three-year collaborative project with business and five national partners, reveals that although there has been progress against our three calls to action and recommendations in the 2016 report, too many men and women with mental health issues are suffering in silence in work, unable to seek help from colleagues or managers.  Fears of prejudice and exclusion are limiting employee's ability to achieve their full potential. 

YouGov surveyed over 3,000 people in work across the UK for the study and found that three in five (60%) employees have experienced mental health issues because of work. Yet despite 53% of people feeling comfortable talking about mental health at work, a significant percentage of employees risk serious repercussions for disclosing a mental health issue. 15% of employees face dismissal, disciplinary action or demotion after disclosing a mental health issue at work (compared to 9% identified in similar research undertaken in 2016). Scaled up to the general working population, this could mean as many as 1.2 million people* negatively affected for disclosing mental health problems.

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The Full Story

The report highlights some significant improvement in attitudes towards mental health in the workplace. 84% of employers acknowledge that they have a responsibility towards their employee's mental wellbeing, 91% of managers agree that what they do affects the wellbeing of their staff. However, despite this, less than a quarter (24%) of managers have received any training in mental health. There also remains a pervasive culture of silence over mental health at work.

Take Action

The time has come to stop talking about the importance of good mental health at work and to start taking action. Good practice exists in some organisations, but for the vast majority of employees, mental health is still a no-go area. Implementation of our best practice recommendations that include specific guidelines for small and medium-sized organisations will give new urgency and purpose to the campaign on opening the conversation around mental health.
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Mental Health for Employers
This toolkit will help employers pick out the most valuable resources, and help to develop an approach that works. For larger organisations, the toolkit is also a useful resource to share with businesses in their supply chain and across their network. Every organisation has an opportunity to support and develop a mentally healthy workforce and it doesn’t need to be complicated – this toolkit will help you understand and act, step by step.
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