HR 'lack the skills' to deal with mental health issues

Under half of the employees feel their HR team “lacks the skills and training to properly support workers mental health issues.”

This research was undertaken by Vita Health Group, who found that 42 per cent of staff have little faith in HR to deliver mental health support. A higher amount of younger professionals (24-34) doubted HR’s capabilities, with 51 per cent agreeing with this.

The stigma still seems to be attached to mental health issues, as 42 per cent feel that if they were to reveal their mental health concerns or problems they would “destroy” their career and prevent them from getting a pay rise.

The number one support measure (52 per cent), employees feel could help them is a “monthly one-to-one chat about issues”.

Providing more mental health advice came in second, followed by online support for staff.

Derrick Farrell, CEO at Vita Health Group said:

It’s shocking but not completely surprising that such a high proportion of workers feel that disclosing important information about their mental health challenges will ruin their career and prevent them getting a promotion. Nobody – whatever their age or level of seniority – should ever have to live in fear of bosses knowing these vital details, leaving them without the support they need.

It’s critical that employers do more to ensure the stigma associated with mental health issues are significantly reduced  This means addressing these needs from the leadership down, ensuring managers have mandatory mental health training and recognise the warning signs of vulnerable employees and have clear pathways of support for those who need it.

It was revealed earlier this month (December) that people working in HR are ranked the third-highest most likely to be working on Christmas day in the UK, coming after those who work in healthcare, arts and culture.

Vita Health Group spoke to 2,000 UK workers to gather these results.





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.