Mental wellbeing support should be offered in the workplace say managers

More than three quarters of managers are calling for their business to offer more support and education around mental wellbeing in the workplace.

This is according to Opinium’s Workplace Mental Wellbeing report, which was conducted in partnership with the University of Warwick. Opinium is a market research and insight consultancy. The majority of managers (77 per cent) feel their business should do more in this area.

This comes after it was announced that 79 per cent of employers said that their employees do not always disclose the true reason for their absence.  With 88 per cent of employers believing their workers have taken time off due to mental health in the previous 12 months.

The Opinium research found that 67 per cent of employees who have struggled with their mental health have never told an employer. Mainly due to the fact they feel doing so would be embarrassing or could jeopardies their career.

Those who did take time off work due to mental health issues, 54 per cent of them felt pressured to return to work too early.

More than a third (35 per cent) of employees do not receive any help when it comes to mental wellbeing in the workplace, with 80 per cent saying suffering from such a condition has impacted their work.

Still, 33 per cent of managers would not know what to do if an employee approached them and told them they struggle with mental health issues.

Just over a fifth (21 per cent) want to implement mental health days that allow employees to take days off due to mental issues with no questions asked.

Sophie Holland, senior research executive at Opinium said:

Clearly there are still significant barriers preventing employees from talking about their mental wellbeing to their employers, and this needs to change. Culture is key here – employers need to work to create safe spaces where their employees feel comfortable talking about mental health and wellbeing, both good and bad experiences; allowing employees to bring their full selves to work. However, it is also important that workplaces have the support structures and initiatives in place. Every workplace is different, and different teams may need different initiatives to support them. Therefore, it is vital that employers listen to their employees and understand what works best for them.

Opinium conducted this research by asking 2,009 UK workers aged 18+ from the 12th to 26th March 2019.

Interested in wellbeing? We recommend the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.