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Press Releases Mental health - news Policy publications - Employment & Skills

New survey shows rise in reports of mental health issues in the workplace

14 May 2018

streetBusiness leaders have seen a rise in the number of staff raising concerns around mental health in the last 14 months, a new survey by the Institute of Directors reveals. The poll of 700 directors shows four in ten have been approached by staff, up 12 percentage points from 2017. A similar number (42%) report employees taking time off work due to mental health problems.

Poor relationships with line management and workload have the biggest negative impact on employees’ mental health, closely followed by poor relationship with colleagues, the data showed. Those in larger organisations were particularly likely to say the line manager relationship needed improvement, with more than half in companies with over 100 employees pointing to this factor. However, only one in five business leaders said they were able to offer mental health training for management.

Since launching its Mental Health in the Workplace campaign in 2017, the IoD has joined forces with a number of organisations to raise awareness of the issue.

Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:

"While mental health is no longer the taboo subject it was, much work remains to be done. Directors must take to heart the importance of their workforce’s mental health, just as they would their physical health.

“The bottom line is this: the workplace shouldn’t be somewhere that people feel they have to hide the problems they are facing. In fact, it should be one of the places where help is most easily found.

“Larger organisations need to make sure that good practice spreads through every layer of their organisation. In smaller firms, where capacity for formal training is often limited, managers must still show willing to engage with the issue.

“We want businesses to see tackling mental health not as a drain on resources but as a positive investment in the wellbeing of their staff.”

Full survey results:

Has any of your staff ever approached you with mental health concerns?


2018

2017

Yes

39%

27%

No

54%

52%

Not applicable

7%

20%


Where did, or where would you, direct your employees who have expressed their concerns about their mental health?


2018

2017

We have a retained provider, such as an Employee Assistance Programme

20%

19%

Mental Health First Aid England

6%

5%

Their GP

68%

72%

Private therapy

19%

16%

I wouldn’t know

4%

6%

Other (please specify)

8%

7%

Not applicable

9%

-


Are you aware of any specific cases where staff in your organisation had to take time off due to mental health problems? 

Yes

42%

No

50%

Not applicable

8%


Do you offer mental health training for management in your organisation?

Yes

17%

No

66%

Don’t know

2%

Not applicable

15%


Which of the following do you think have the biggest negative impact on your employees’ mental health?

High workload

37%

Poor relationships with colleagues

33%

Poor line management relationship

37%

Change in the organisation

20%

Other (please specify)

21%

Don’t know

8%

Not applicable

14%


2018 survey: 699 respondents, conducted between 12-26 April 2018
2017 survey: 894 respondents, conducted between 26 Jan - 9 Feb 2017

Contact Press Office

Donjeta Miftari, Head of Communications  

020 7451 3285


Euan Holmes, Press Officer

020 7451 3280


Press office