37% of employee assistance programme calls relate to anxiety and depression

Just over a third (37%) of calls to an employee assistance programme (EAP) relate to employee anxiety and depression, according to research by employee wellbeing organisation Lifeworks.

The research, which is based on call statistics to Lifeworks’ EAP service between January 2011 and March 2017, also found that 7% of calls relate to personal relationship problems.

The research also found:

  • There was a 40% increase in the number of calls regarding anxiety and depression in 2016.
  • There was a 25% increase in calls relating to anxiety and depression between January-March 2016 and January-March 2017.
  • Demand for emotional support increased by 27% in 2016, and by 55% over the last three years.
  • There was a 27% increase in demand for emotional support through the service between January-March 2016 and January-March 2017.
  • 10% of employees that call the EAP report that their performance at work is impaired or severely impaired because of their reason for calling the service, and 9% are on sick leave or absent from work as a result.

Colin Grange (pictured), UK clinical director at Lifeworks, said: “While this upwards trend may seem alarming, given one in six British workers are affected by mental health issues, it indicates staff are taking up the support provided by their employers.

“This hasn’t always been the case; the stigma of having a mental health issue and a general lack of awareness of workplace support tools have been significant barriers. This is a sign that organisations are starting to embed mental health wellbeing into their workplace philosophy.”