mental health workplace wellness

More Evidence that Employees Reluctant to Admit Mental Wellness Concerns

Last week we reported on a new survey that highlights connections between mental wellness and presenteeism and absenteeism — two key cost drivers that well-run workplace wellness programs seek to address.

Indeed, a key piece of analysis from Wildgoose focused on the bottom line cost to employers: “It is imperative that employers address the issue of mental health symptoms within the workplace, particularly as it is estimated that the average cost to a business per employee as a result of absence due to mental health symptoms totals £1,035 per year.”

The survey results support a related issue that we recently noted: A Workplace Insights piece reports that the challenge may be even greater than previously thought: “Two thirds of workers too embarrassed to tell boss about mental health issues.”

The data support the important role that a well-run workplace wellness program can play in promoting mental health awareness in the office.

The piece states: “New research from job site CV-Library claims that nearly two thirds (60.2 percent) of employees feel embarrassed about disclosing information on the state of their mental health with their employer. What’s more, 60.8 percent feel they cannot talk about it with their boss.

The Wildgoose post seems to support the conclusion — adding a key component to the ways that well-run workplace wellness programs need to be aware of mental health challenges.

The findings “suggest that employees feel they would not wish to be honest about the fact a mental health condition was impacting upon their ability to work, should they develop symptoms. This could be down to the fear of being stigmatised, or a reluctance to admit they are struggling.”

It continues: “The fact employees felt they would cite a different reason for having to take time off has implications for the perception of mental health in the workplace as a whole, as the more people feel they cannot be honest, the less likely the perception is to change.”

Indeed, the data are powerful: “20% of those surveyed who haven’t suffered from a mental health issue feel that destigmatising these symptoms in the workplace is essential, vs. 47,5% of those who have suffered, reiterating how essential sufferers feel it is to break the stigma of mental health.”

One conclusion: “Having a more effective mental health policy should go some way towards reducing the need for extended periods of time off work, whilst reducing the number of those who resign (7% of those surveyed).”