Mental health still a no-go zone for four in five workers says IOSH
Four out of five workers in Britain say they fear being stigmatised and judged incapable of work if they were to discuss their mental health problems with their boss, according to a new survey.
The findings also suggested that line managers are concerned about saying or doing the wrong thing and so are often reluctant to broach the subject with their staff.
Commenting on the study, which was carried out in prior to Mental Health Awareness Week, IOSH said that is shows mental health remains a ‘taboo’ subject in many British workplaces. In response, it has urged businesses to develop ‘prevention-first’ approach to dealing with it.
Other key findings from the survey, which quizzed 400 employees from a variety of businesses across Britain in order to get a clearer picture of what is being done to support workers with mental health problems, include:
- 80% won’t discuss mental health with their line manager;
- 25% of employees would be more comfortable discussing mental health with a colleague;
- 22% of line managers rarely discuss mental health with their direct reports, with a further 11% never doing so;
- 62% of line managers don’t get enough help from their organisation to support the mental wellbeing of their staff;
- Only 31% of respondents said they have been sufficiently trained to recognise the signs of poor mental health.
Duncan Spencer, Head of Advice and Practice at IOSH, said: “These survey results are deeply worrying. They demonstrate that while much work has been done to remove the stigma of mental health, is still a taboo in many workplaces.
“Businesses need to work hard to break down these taboos, by creating more open lines of communication. Line managers are vital in creating workplaces that are positive for people’s mental health and wellbeing, but they need to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to do this.
“We encourage businesses to create a prevention-first approach to managing mental health and wellbeing.”