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Employees 3x more likely to discuss physical ailments over mental health issues

Employees 3x more likely to discuss physical ailments over mental health issues Main Image

Two thirds of us experience Mental Health problems at some point in our lives and a recent study from the Mental Health Foundation found 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace. So even if you do not struggle with a Mental Health problem yourself, the chances are one of your colleagues does.

This week The Great Big Workplace Adjustments Survey 2019 reported that some people with mental health conditions could be waiting for over a year for employers to put in place much needed workplace adjustments. Only 35% of those who requested adjustments had received them within a month of requesting and 63% had to wait longer, with 20% having to wait a year.

In the same week the ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ campaign released a survey that showed that employees are three times more likely to discuss physical ailments over mental health issues at work. Only 14% of people surveyed felt that they can talk about common mental health issues.

Why is this?

The research shows the persisting mental health gap in the workplace, with first aid skills a clear indicator of this. Over 7 in 10 employees know basic physical first aid, such as how to bandage a finger or treat a minor burn. But just over a third [36%] feel confident talking to colleagues about common mental health struggles with stress and depression in the workplace.

The findings illustrate that there must be a fundamental change to ensure we treat mental and physical health equally in the workplace.To address this gap, employers should translate awareness into action and show their commitment to protecting and supporting their people’s mental health.

Mental Health First Aid

Practical mental health skills and awareness training is a key component for creating a safe, healthy workplace where the mental health and physical health of employees are valued equally. It gives people the tools to support their own mental health and that of their colleagues and encourages them to access timely support when needed.

But training is just one part of the puzzle. To be effective and have a sustainable impact, training needs to be implemented as part of a strategic whole organisation approach to wellbeing. That’s why, as well as providing practical skills, we can help you develop and enhance your wellbeing strategy, to help your employees thrive. Contact us today to find out more.

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