UK workplaces facing ‘mental health iceberg’
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UK workplaces facing ‘mental health iceberg’

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More than a third (38 per cent) of UK employees believe their working environment is having a negative effect on their mental state of mind, according to new figures released to mark mental health Awareness Week (16 – 22 May).

The findings, from the Mental Resilience Survey conducted by health insurer Westfield Health, suggest the prominence of mental health issues in the workplace is likely far higher than previously thought. Half of the 2,000 UK employees surveyed also believe their workplace ‘does not manage mental health issues well’.

Around 60 per cent of respondents admitted that mental health issues affect their everyday life, but half of those who have suffered from a mental health issue said they did not take time off work.

“The findings show that when it comes to managing mental health in the workplace, employers face a much bigger problem than first appears,” said Westfield Health’s executive director, Dave Capper.

“Not only are workers reporting that their place of work is impacting negatively on their mental state of mind, but the majority (63 per cent) are also calling for employers and employees to share responsibility and to do more to manage mental resilience and mindfulness in the workplace.”

The findings follow a recent study which suggested that injecting a corporate culture of mindfulness not only improves focus, but the ability to manage stress and how employees work together.

There is growing momentum behind the importance of workplace wellness schemes and policymakers are currently looking at a number of options to help the UK workforce live healthier lifestyles. Public Health England recently launched its last One You initiative – thought to be the first public health campaign targeted specifically at the middle-aged – while ukactive called on a number of senior Conservatives to back policy changes that would offer tax incentives for workplace physical activity schemes.

The growing problem presents a significant opportunity for wellness providers to offer their specialised services in promoting workplace wellbeing, with companies such as Nuffield Health and, more recently, British Military Fitness working to meet this demand.

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More than a third (38 per cent) of UK employees believe their working environment is having a negative effect on their mental state of mind, according to new figures released to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (16 – 22 May).
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