Q: Thinking about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, how many of your colleagues do you think suffer from a mental health issue?

2019-06-03

Nearly one in three professionals say at least a quarter if not half of the people they work are challenged by a mental health issue
Source: Pulse 250 comprising senior working professionals based in the UK

The latest insight from our Pulse 250 suggests mental health is a going concern for businesses today.  Only 17% of business professionals think their colleagues are not suffering from a mental health issue. Alarmingly, 15% said they didn't know if their co-workers are under mental strain or not.

The drivers behind mental health issues were many. Respondents named the following triggers to mental health difficulties:

- the impact of severe cost-cutting inside the business and the enormous strain this brings in terms of being under pressure to prove your worth

- the endless working day and trail of emails arriving at any time, including late in the evening

- a lack of time and resources

- the challenges of working with 'always on' technology

- a lack of control over working conditions and outcomes

This all begs the question, why do we keep it under wraps when we’re feeling stressed or anxious?  Some offered one or more of the following reasons:

- the imagined stigma

- a pre-disposition to suffer in silence

- home life and personal circumstances are often virtually unknown

- the amount of time available in the working day to talk about what’s happening outside work seems to be constantly under threat

The sense of inevitability was also put forward with one business leader noting that "being human makes it inescapable to have mental health issues."  Perhaps a starting point is to encourage an open conversation so that those feeling vulnerable have an opportunity to speak up.
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