mental health workplace wellness

Report: Employees ‘Too Embarrassed’ to Reveal Mental Health Issues

We have reported previously that the business costs related to mental health are not trivial. Employee Benefits News — in a piece titled “Poor mental health is costing employers billions,” reports that “because employees are not seeking treatment for these conditions, employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion each year due to stress, anxiety, depression and substance abuse contributing to high turnover, burnout, exhaustion and decreased motivation.”

Further, according to Workplace Insights, businesses and workplace wellness programs can help address these issues by:

  • “Creating a wellbeing strategy that ensures that supporting employee wellbeing remains a priority”
  • “Promoting mental health and wellbeing initiatives in the workplace”
  • “Demonstrating that wellbeing matters to senior leaders”
  • “Being approachable and providing opportunities for employees to discuss their mental health”
  • “Empowering people to be able to take time off to attend medical appointments or treatment; and”
  • “Making adjustments to the working environment and working hours of someone coping with mental health challenges”

A new 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.

Other troubling  findings from the research include:

  • “Nearly two thirds (64.2 percent) of workers fear their employer would judge them if they spoke about their health issues”
  • “A further 46.8 percent worrying that doing so will make them look weak”
  • “One third (36.7 percent) fear that they would get fired if they told their boss about their mental health issues”
  • “63 percent said that they would feel guilty taking time off work for mental health reasons”