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New report highlights importance of Mental Health support

A new report has been launched highlighting the gap between what UK employees want and need from mental health support compared to what is currently provided. 

Incorporating insight from automotive industry charity Ben, the report by digital mental health experts SilverCloud comes at a time when the population is facing a cost-of-living crisis as it emerges from the post-lockdown landscape. Making Mental Health Top of the Agenda reveals the impact of these situations and more on employee mental health in the UK.

Of those surveyed, 50% have felt overwhelmed at work; with nearly half (48%) experiencing ‘burn out’, and more than a third (35%) feeling depressed. However, despite these findings, only a third of companies have increased their staff wellbeing investment since the start of the pandemic, leaving 50% of workers actively wanting more support.

“Mental health in the workplace is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but instead should be viewed through a strategic lens that supports both economic impact and individual wellbeing. Businesses have a key responsibility to support and build a resilient workforce and put tools in place to manage and even prevent mental health issues in the first place,” stated Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology at Alliance Manchester Business School, Manchester University.

Employees also reported that poor mental health impacts their performance at work:

  • Concentration levels negatively affected (60%)
  • Productivity levels diminished (56%)
  • Quality of work reduced (40%) 
  • Relationships with colleagues affected (26%).

Mental health support as a business issue

The new research also shows that increases in productivity and profitability are being unlocked by companies who invest in their workforce’s mental health.  Over half (55%) of employers have seen an increase in staff productivity, plus increases in profitability (40%) and a reduction in absenteeism. 

Interestingly, when it comes to Environment, Social Governance (ESG), 75% of companies include mental health and wellbeing as part of it. A further 40% of employers view mental health as a strategic issue and 70% believe workforce wellbeing has become more important for investors today than 10 years ago.

When looking at potential workplace wellness solutions, digital mental health apps and programmes were recognised as valuable tools by 90% of employees. ‘Anytime, anywhere’ accessibility and anonymity ranked in the top three user benefits. This was echoed by 80% of business leaders who are planning to adopt digital mental health tools in the next two years.

“There are many ways in which businesses can build a stronger, more effective, sustainable and resilient organisation – from making mental health a strategic board-level priority, to upskilling line managers, and offering digital mental health tools that can support people to self-manage their mental health anytime, anywhere, and on their own terms,” added Cooper.

Dr Carolyn Lorian, Head of Clinical Transformation at SilverCloud, commented: “These findings reinforce the crucial role that businesses can play in supporting their workforces to unlock human and business potential; however, just 28% of employees believe employers are doing enough. This gap between employee reality and employer perception and action needs to be addressed.”

The full white paper, Making Mental Health Top of the Agenda, is available for download.

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