World Mental Health Day: 60 per cent of employees have experienced mental health issues due to work

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A mental health at work report has revealed that one in three employees have experienced work-related mental health issues.

The report was conducted by Business in the Community, a charity, to investigate how attitudes towards mental health in the workplace had developed over time.

It found that three out of every five employees have experienced mental health issues in the last year that could be attributed to work. Almost a third of the UK’s workforce (31 per cent) have been formally diagnosed with a mental health issue, up two per cent from 2016’s report.

The National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey, in partnership with YouGov, also discovered that depression and anxiety were the most common mental illnesses at work.

Just 13 per cent of respondents felt able to disclose a mental health issue to their line manager, and of those who did, 15 per cent were subject to disciplinary procedures. In 10 per cent of cases, the employee was fired from their job, whilst two per cent were demoted.

Further research for World Mental Health Day has also found that women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a mental health problem as a male.

Almost 13 per cent of all sick days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions. Figures show that having a better support network for mental health in workplaces could save £8 billion a year for UK businesses.

Mental health charities confirmed that people are now more aware and feel more empowered to tackle mental health – but that there was still a long way to go.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, told The Telegraph: “Public awareness of mental health has improved dramatically in recent years, thanks in part to campaigns like Time to Change, run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. More people now feel empowered to speak out about their experiences in schools, workplaces and in their communities.”

“Prince Harry speaking candidly about his experiences earlier this year got the nation talking and helped reach new audiences who may not have engaged with the issue of mental health before. As a result of society’s new found openness we are starting to see for the first time the scale of the unmet need.”

“We are entering an important new chapter for mental health where we now need to turn this unprecedented public awareness into action.”

“Mental health can no longer be overlooked and underfunded. We want to see everyone experiencing a mental health problem being able to access the treatments and services they need, when and where they need them.”

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