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Management and staff disparity on mental health support

20 May 2020

Businesses must do more to support employees’ mental health, according to new research by employee benefit provider Secondsight.

Three quarters (75%) of businesses surveyed by the firm said they were offering mental health support to their workforce, but more than half (51%) of employees felt their employer should be offering more.

Despite mental health awareness growing significantly in recent years, 48% of employees aged between 35-44 said there remains a stigma associated to mental health within their workplace, with this figure rising to 56% among 21-34 year olds.

Matthew Mitten, partner, Secondsight (part of the Foster Denovo group), said: “Whilst we know that mental wellbeing is spoken about more freely than it ever has been, it’s disappointing that our research highlights the continuing social stigma attached to mental ill health.

“Many people keep their mental health problems hidden, yet they’d have no problem telling their employer about a physical complaint they were experiencing. Sadly, this is a continuing problem.”

It is estimated that at least one in six employees will experience mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, according to mental health charity Mind.

Mark Bingham, partner, Secondsight, added that senior management should lead by example, and highlight to employees the importance of taking care of their wellbeing.

Bingham said: “There is no better place to start than at the top. When board members, directors and senior managers are all looking after their own wellbeing and encouraging their employees to do the same, the results throughout the organisation can be massive.

“Ensuring your line managers are trained to spot signs of mental health problems and start initial conversations with their teams, can reduce the impact on an employee and business in the future.

“Ultimately, if you can get everyone within the organisation, no matter what their role, to spend a little time talking about mental health and highlighting the support your business offers, it can only over time, break down the stigma within your own organisation.”

Professional Paraplanner