Following World Mental Health Day on Sunday, Onebright, the UK’s largest on-demand mental healthcare company, has released exclusive research to highlight the chasm between employers and employees when it comes to mental health support in the workplace.
The research highlights that just over one in two (55%) British employees wanted to take time off work for their mental health during the pandemic but didn’t – 38% indicated that they would feel awkward or uncomfortable requesting time off.
It also shows that one in five (21 percent) employees have had mental health concerns related to work during the last year – 69 percent said these concerns are related to COVID or lockdown.
This is despite six in ten (61 percent) decision makers stating that their organisation has increased measures to support the mental health of their employees in the last year.
With the survey revealing that one in 20 employees would describe their employer’s attitude to mental health as poor or incompetent, there appears to be a disconnect between what employers are providing employees in terms of mental health support or how they are presenting it to them, and what employees actually need.
And with 77% of employees considering leaving their job for a company that provides better mental health support, employers need to get a grip of the issue and make mental healthcare one of their top priorities going forward, if they are to negate the risk of losing a significant number of employees.
Clare Price, Head of Psychological Services at Onebright, remarked:
“The past year has presented new anxieties and stresses for employers and employees as we have all come to terms with the impacts of the COVID pandemic. The effect of it on our mental health has been significant for many and the long-term impacts are still being evaluated.
“Whilst businesses of all sizes have sought to improve mental health support for employees, there is still a long way to go in providing the same level of support for it that physical ill health receives in the workplace. Much of this is about removing the stigma around mental ill health and providing appropriate channels for employees to talk and seek help for mental health issues.
“Not only will this help to lessen absenteeism and presenteeism at work, but it can also improve employee engagement, recruitment and retention, something that all businesses require for growth.”