78% of UK employees’ mental health impacts their job

mental health impacted jobMore than three-quarters (78%) of UK employees admitted that their mental health had impacted their ability to do their job over the past year, according to new research by Lyra Health.

The workforce mental health benefits provider surveyed more than 3,500 employees and HR leaders from industries with global workforces for its annual 2024 State of the workforce mental health report.

It found that 46% of respondents who said mental health challenges made it harder to work were less focused, while 42% were less engaged and 36% were less productive.

While 84% of benefits leaders said creating a mentally healthy work culture had become a higher priority for their organisation over the last year, only 47% of employees agreed with this. Similarly, 95% of benefits leaders said mental health support for individual employees had become a higher priority, while only 46% of employees believed that to be true.

In 2023, 27% of managers said their mental health had a significant or severe impact on their ability to do their job, up from 18% in 2022. Meanwhile, 84% of HR and benefits leaders and 52% of managers agree that managers have the autonomy needed to support their employees’ mental health.

Prospective employees increasingly consider mental health benefits when making decisions about job offers, with 80% of US employees ranking a prospective employer’s mental health care benefits as somewhat or very important to their job decision process.

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A majority (85%) of HR and benefits leaders said that they thought their organisation’s benefits sufficiently helped their child with mental health issues, compared to 57% of employees. Three-quarters (73%) of staff want help from a trusted resource to identify the right mental health provider, with 40% of those receiving care switched providers once and 12% changing three or more times.

Dr Joe Grasso, vice president of workforce transformation at Lyra Health, said: “Employers have made great progress in curbing stigma around depression, anxiety, and stress. Severe conditions, however, are still heavily stigmatised and can be hiding in plain sight.”