Mental health issues: Employees find it hard to admit to in the workplace

The majority of employees seem reluctant to admit they are enduring mental health issues in order to get time off work.

This was discovered by XpertHR who conducted a study in to the matter. It found that 88 per cent of employers believed that workers have taken time off due to mental health in the previous 12 months. However, 79 per cent of employers said that their employees do not always disclose the true reason for their absence.

The stigma surrounding this issue in the workplace means that employers are missing the opportunity to intervene early, in order to help the employee deal with the issue.

Only 21 per cent of companies have a formal mental health policy in place, with 48 per cent running mental health wellbeing initiatives on an “ad hoc basis”.

Despite line managers being expected to assist employees experiencing mental health issues , only a small amount receive training in this area. With only 15 per cent of line managers being deemed as effective in dealing with such problems.

Also just above a fifth (22 per cent) of companies offer mental health first aid training to line managers.

Still, 30 per cent of companies are trying to better prepare for mental health issues by appointing mental-health first aiders who are trained in this field.

Noelle Murphy, senior HR practice editor at XpertHR said:

Mental health is undoubtedly higher up the HR agenda than at any other time. However, much more work needs to be done to ensure organisations have a culture that encourages timely disclosure of mental ill health – this is turn allows for early intervention, that may minimise the length, severity and impact of a mental ill health episode. This is the development of skills and competence among line managers, and resources need to be found to do just this.

XpertHR surveyed 303 organisations who hire over 500,000 people.






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.