41% of employers expect increased demand for mental health support

Mental health support will be the most in-demand health and wellbeing benefit in 2024, according to research from Towergate Health and Protection.

The survey of 500 HR professionals found that 41% are expecting to see an increase in demand for mental health support from their employees. A third (34%) cited that they expect to see an increase in support for financial health this year.

Half (51%) of employers are likely to meet this need and stated their intention to increase their mental health support for staff this year, for example through access to counselling.

The next priority for employers was to increase support for financial health, stated as a priority by 48%, social health (45%) and physical health (42%).

However, a third (34%) of employers said that their focus is on other areas of the business, not on the health and wellbeing of staff.

Debra Clark, head of wellbeing at Towergate Health and Protection, said: “It is short-sighted for a third of employers to not equate focusing on the health and wellbeing of employees with the success of the business.

“Healthy and happy employees are key to any business succeeding, and wellbeing is absolutely interwoven with productivity, loyalty, and lack of absenteeism, as well as supporting recruitment and retention.

“While it is concerning that so many employers expect to see increased demand for mental health support, the positive news is that employers will offer greater support in the workplace.

“Employers must, however, give equal consideration to mental, physical, social and financial support. These are the four pillars of health and wellbeing and if one is lacking, the whole structure becomes unstable: if an employee is struggling financially, this can impact their mental and emotional health. If they are not mentally well, it can impact their physical health.”