EXCLUSIVE: More than two-thirds (67%) of HR professional respondents say mental health is a major issue in their workplace, according to research by MetLife Employee Benefits.
Its survey of 204 UK HR professionals also found that more than half (53%) of respondents have found themselves providing counselling to employees.
The research also found:
- 62% of respondents say are they are increasingly being seen as a stress counsellor.
- 78% of respondents believe their role is increasingly becoming a shoulder for employees to cry on.
- More than one-fifth (22%) of respondents have had to provide marriage and relationship counselling for employees.
- More than one-third (36%) have had to carry out counselling because of romantic relationships in the workplace.
- 76% of respondents are surprised at the level of personal and private information staff tell them.
Tom Gaynor (pictured), employee benefits director at MetLife UK, said: “The pressure on HR departments from dealing with mental health issues is growing and shows the strain they are under dealing with issues they are not necessarily trained for. It also highlights a significant gap in training and the capability of line managers to fulfil this business-critical role.
“It is positive to the extent that employees are willing to talk about and acknowledge that they are under stress but clearly it is preferable that staff do not get to the point where they have to seek help.
“Addressing mental health issues in the workplace does not need to be expensive and there are simple steps that organisations can take, such as conducting stress audits and making full use of employee benefits and wellness programmes.”