EXCLUSIVE: 82% feel they could do more to address mental health at work


EXCLUSIVE: The majority (82%) of respondents feel they could do more to better address mental health in the workplace, according to research by employee assistance programme provider CIC.

Its Stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace index 2017, which surveyed 440 HR professionals, also found that 86% of respondents have bullying or harassment policies in place that are kept up to date and reviewed on an on-going basis.

The research also found:

  • 51% of respondents say that not having enough personnel to support wellbeing initiatives hinders how they support staff with stress, anxiety and depression. Other factors that hinder employer-provided support include: not enough budget being assigned to staff wellbeing (47%), a lack of staff or managerial training (39%), and not enough support or awareness from organisation leaders (31%).
  • 95% of respondents provide employees with access to confidential and anonymous counselling or an EAP, 89% offer flexible working and work-life balance policies for employees, and 78% give staff with stress, anxiety and depression reasonable workplace adjustments.
  • 33% of respondents feel that counselling or an employee assistance programme (EAP) are the most effective ways to improve psychological wellbeing in the workplace, 27% believe flexible working and work-life balance policies are most effective, and 18% rank reasonable workplace adjustments for staff with mental illness related to stress, anxiety and depression as key to improving employees’ psychological wellbeing.
  • 70% of respondents raise awareness of benefits and policies that can help support employees’ mental health, while 64% feel support measures are easily understood and accessible to all staff.
  • 60% of respondents think that workplace mental health is a key priority for their organisation.
  • 44% of respondents are not aware of the National Health Service’s (NHS) mental health initiative Mindful Employer, and 42% are unaware of mental health campaign Time to Change, run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

Kate Nowlan (pictured), chief executive officer at CIC, said: “There is a vast array of options available to employers to support the mental health and wellbeing of their people, so it’s a significant concern that so many HR professionals don’t consider their current wellbeing offering to be top class.

“Our research revealed that 70% of HR [professionals] felt their [organisations] were doing a good job when it comes to raising awareness of their wellbeing offer to employees, which is great news, but with over one-third admitting that these services aren’t easily understood or accessible to all staff, there is a great deal of work to be done.”