Nearly two-thirds of students and graduates planning to join the banking sector have experienced mental health issues, new survey from CMHA reveals


– 61% of students and graduates worry that the stigma of disclosing a mental health issue will hinder their chances of securing a job in the banking sector

  • 76% are concerned about meeting the expectations of their new employer
  • 81% are more likely to apply to an employer who is open about its commitment to mental health

City Mental Health Alliance (CMHA), an alliance of City businesses aiming to create mentally healthy workplaces, has today revealed statistics about the mental health of students and graduates planning to apply for a job within the banking industry in the UK.

In a survey of students and graduates looking to join the banking sector, 63% described themselves as having experienced mental health issues. Respondents said they had lived with a range of issues, with almost half (48%) saying they had experienced anxiety, 43% depression and a further 27% stating they had experienced panic attacks. 15% of respondents said they have self-harmed.

The data goes on to show that 61% of these individuals are worried about the stigma still associated with mental health and believe that telling a prospective employer about a past or current issue would hinder their chances of securing a role.

Only 37% said they would feel comfortable discussing mental health issues with their manager, whereas more than double (75%) would be comfortable talking about physical health issues (such as flu, diabetes and back pain). Over half (53%) of respondents who took a day off for a mental health issue would prefer to cite physical illness as the reason for the absence instead. Meanwhile, 40% say they would try to avoid ever disclosing to their employer that they were experiencing poor mental health. 

However, the survey also found that 81% of those planning a career in banking are more likely to apply to an employer who is open about their commitment to mental health, whilst a further 84% said that their prospective employer’s policy was important to them. Despite this, 76% of respondents said that they didn’t have any information about the mental health or wellbeing support from prospective employers.

Poppy Jaman OBE, CEO of City Mental Health Alliance comments:

It’s important for employers to realise the vital role they can play in helping new joiners feel safe, comfortable and supported at a huge milestone in their lives.  Providing mental health support for new joiners as they transition into the workplace needs to be a priority in firms across the UK. Our survey highlights that much more needs to be done to foster an environment where employees feel able to talk openly about their mental health issues from day one. Making mental health matter will not only ensure new graduates feel able to discuss these topics, but it will also help them to build the skills they need to be mental health literate leaders going forward.”

Author: Editorial Team

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