33% feel comfortable talking to their employer about mental health issues

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A third (33%) of respondents would feel comfortable talking to their employer about a mental health issue such as depression, according to research by Capita Employee Benefits.

Its Employee insight report, which surveyed 3,006 UK employees, also found that 44% of respondents know a colleague who has had to give up work because of stress.

The research also found:

  • 36% of respondents know of colleagues who have complained about being stressed to their employer, yet received no support for this.
  • 56% of respondents would not feel comfortable discussing issues such as depression or stress with their fellow employees.
  • 19% of respondents believe financial worries affect their work.
  • 31% of respondents would speak to colleagues about taking time off work following mental health issues, and 56% would not do this.
  • 75% of respondents have felt stressed at work over the past 12 months, and 20% have had time off because of stress.
  • 10% of respondents have access to an employee assistance programme (EAP) at work.

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Alistair Dornan, head of health management at Capita Employee Benefits, said: “Our research reveals that a significant proportion of the UK’s working population believes employers have a responsibility towards the personal health and mental wellbeing of their staff. And yet many [employees] are still uncomfortable speaking to their bosses about mental health, while a worrying quarter of the population say they have complained but nothing was done.

“With almost half of people saying they would still go to work while ill to avoid having work stack up in their absence, it’s clear that employers have a significant role to play in supporting the personal health of their staff, which should include mental health.”