Voice of the Employee

Millions of workers with mental health problems are suffering in silence because of a lack of support from their employers, according to a new report.

Bosses were accused of being “disconnected” from their staff over mental health – with most believing their organisation helps employees with mental ill health, said charity Business in the Community.

A survey of 3,000 workers found that in the last month alone, one in four had symptoms of poor mental health where work contributed, but most did not feel able to talk to a colleague or manager.

Around one in four workers have access to an employee assistance programme, but only 2% used it, or contacted human resources.

Business in the Community called on employers to do more to tackle the issue.

Louise Aston, of the charity, said: “Millions of employees are suffering in silence and feel unable to share their experiences at work. When they do reach out, many are met with an inadequate response.

“Our findings show that we need more openness, more training and information, and more support for employees and managers.

“It is good that mental wellbeing is on the radar for leaders and managers, but this is still not translating into adequate support for employees experiencing poor mental health.”

Poppy Jaman, chief executive of Mental Health First Aid – which helped with the study, added: “We need a culture change in our workplaces. We will only make headway when employers value mental health as they do physical health.”

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