60% believe employers should offer free screening for depression

Mark Winwood

More than half (60%) of respondents living with mental ill health believe that employers should offer free screening for depression in the workplace, according to research by Axa PPP Healthcare.

It survey of 500 UK adults currently diagnosed with stress, anxiety or depression, 393 of which are in work, also found that 35% of employee respondents are not open about their mental health condition at work.

The research also found:

  • 84% of respondents are open about their mental health condition with family and friends.
  • Almost a third (63%) of respondents that sought professional help for their condition did not do so straight away.
  • 52% of respondents who delayed in seeking professional help did so because they did not want to admit to needing help, and 64% believed they could manage on their own.
  • 83% of respondents wish that they had sought professional help sooner.
  • 47% of respondents say they had a trigger for seeking professional help, with 34% citing the recommendation of a friend or relative as the main reason, and 52% giving ‘not feeling like themselves’ as the chief reason.

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Dr Mark Winwood (pictured), director of psychological services at Axa PPP Healthcare, said: “Our research suggests that people living with mental ill health would value the offer of free screening for mental health problems, such as depression, in the workplace.

“If such a service was widely available, we might see an increase in employees seeking and receiving support for their mental health sooner, before reaching crisis point. Adopting this approach would also demonstrate to employees that their psychological wellbeing really matters and, in turn, should help to break down the stigma surrounding mental ill health at work.”