UK behind China for workplace mental health support

Infographic: Online benefits to support workplace mental healthJust four in 10 UK employees believe their employers provide good mental health support, according to research.

Insurer Axa’s Mind health study, which is based on a comprehensive survey of 11,000 people in 11 countries and territories across Europe and Asia, found that 40% of those from the UK rated their workplace mind health support as good.

This placed the UK behind China, Switzerland and Ireland for staff perception of workplace mental health support.

According to the poll, 30% of Brits felt more comfortable discussing their mental wellbeing with their employers than they did pre-Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Four in 10 (42%) feel that Covid-19 has shown that having strong connections with people at work is important for their mental health and 72% believe they have coped well at work during the pandemic.

In addition, one in four UK managers have experienced a mental health condition and 29% have been more open about their own mental health with colleagues. Those who feel supported at work were 1.6 times more likely to be happy and almost twice as likely to be flourishing.

More than half of UK staff said the culture at their workplace had become more empathetic since the pandemic. Almost half (45%) had become more motivated, 38% were more productive, 32% believed they were performing better and 28% felt happier in their jobs.

Axa UK and Ireland chief executive Claudio Gienal said many organisations still need to do more to ensure they are providing enough mental health support to their workforce and making sure their employees know what is available.

He explained that while the pandemic has posed many challenges, one positive to come out of it is that it has allowed people to have more open conversations about mental health at work.

“Leaders should be using this opportunity to look at the support they’re providing and where gaps may be,” said Gienal. “Our study shows that organisations which support the mental health of their employees will not only benefit from a happier, healthier and more productive workforce, they will benefit wider society too. It really is a win-win for everyone.”

Almost one in four UK workers polled by Axa described themselves as “struggling” with their mental health, the highest proportion of any country in the report.