Evidence suggests that over 11.5% of sick days taken in the UK are due to mental health issues, with the cost to employers thought to be more than £26 billion a year.

Our new thought leadership research has found that leaders and managers are failing to give sufficient support to their direct reports who suffer from mental health issues.

Also, when it comes to support with mental health, there is a huge lack of mental health awareness training within organisations.

More than half (51%) of survey respondents who had confided in their line manager about a mental health issue did not receive any extra support. Even worse, 8% respondents faced negative consequences, including being sacked or forced out, demoted or subjected to disciplinary action.

Report findings

  • Size matters - 45% of respondents said SMEs with 10-49 employees didn’t support mental health problems very well and 42% said support from SMEs with 100-249 employees was also low
  • 66% and 69% of male and female managers receive no mental health awareness training.
  • 51% of survey respondents who had confided in their line manager about a mental health issue did not receive any extra support

Recommendations

The time has come to stop talking about the importance of good mental health at work and to start acting. There are things which managers and organisations can do to improve support with mental health in the workplace:

  • Actively listen to staff and colleagues to build trust and dispel stigma
  •  Invest in basic mental health literacy so all employees can spot the signs when they need help.
  • Engage in critical self –reflection and consider own impact on an employee’s mental illness.
  •  Offer more than time off work; support with workload and mentoring are preferable alternatives.
  • Treat the illness as a ‘mutual situation’ in which the organisation, via the appropriate managers, and the member of staff affected need to collaborate to find the best long term solution.

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