16% of workers think their mental health is supported

New data has revealed that only 16% of UK employees feel their mental health is very well supported at work, despite 81% wanting their organisation to encourage good mental wellbeing.

Healthcare top-up provider Lime has published a report entitled Keeping up appearances: how ‘pleasanteeism’ is eroding resilience, which found that 42% of respondents expect their employer to do more to support their mental health and that 40% would look for a new job if they didn’t.

More than half (51%) of those surveyed said they feel under pressure to put on a brave face in front of colleagues and 19% are concerned about their stress being visible to others. A total of 56% of women and 45% of men feel like they must put on a brave face at work, rising to 61% for women aged 16-24.

Around a quarter (26%) of employees don’t think they’re coping at work and 40% feel less resilient now than they did before the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Almost half (49%) of men and 43% of women aged 16-24 feel less resilient now than they did previously.

Additionally, 44% say that low personal resilience impacts their ability to do their job effectively, with 28% admitting that stress and poor mental health has caused them to have an unproductive day, 17% losing concentration, making a mistake or forgetting to do something important and 19% calling in sick.

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Findings from the report suggested that 25% would welcome employers being more mindful about workload and work-life balance, and 22% want greater flexibility in working hours, while 20% are after time out to deal with personal commitments and mental health days off work.

Shaun Williams, CEO and founder of Lime, said: “The past 18 months has had a huge impact on people’s lives, including on their mental health and resilience. The long-term repercussions of the pandemic are likely to be felt for years to come, and it’s important we act now to be aware of and prioritise both our own mental health and that of those around us.”