mental health workplace wellness

Managers Hold Key Role in Helping Employees Address Mental Health Concerns

We have been reporting this week on the continuing challenge of addressing mental illness in the workplace. Not only is it clearly a significant personal health issue, but it also can negatively impact a business’ financial health.

Earlier we noted a  Workplace Insights piece showing that the challenge of managing mental wellness in the workplace may be even greater than previously thought: “Two thirds of workers too embarrassed to tell boss about mental health issues.”

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.”

What role can managers play?

study from Time to Change, a UK-based campaign run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and others looked at the question. Among their findings:

The good news is that many employees do in fact assume their managers can help: “46% of respondents felt that they were con dent in their manager being able to implement support tools but around a third were not (34%).”

Further, “Out of those employees who sought support from their managers, 78% were provided with some help or a lot of help from their employer or manager to manage their work demands and mental health, but approximately 19% of respondents who sought support received none.”

One negative finding: Some employees felt a negative reaction from managers. “Out of the employees who sought support by disclosing to their manager or employer, 18% of respondents reported experiencing adverse treatment when asking for support around work demands and mental health problems. Examples of adverse treatment included discrimination, forced time-off, breaches of confidentiality, removal of important work tasks and other negative behaviour towards the individual.”

The data show the importance of a well-run workplace wellness program — including one that focuses on manager training in helping employees with mental health issues. To help with this challenge, we previously reported: