Mental health issues seriously affecting employees – and they don’t feel they’re getting enough help


Nearly half (45%) of employees say they have known a colleague to give up work due to stress, according to Capita Employee Benefits’ annual Employee Insight Report, while a further three quarters (75%) say that they have felt stressed at work over the last 12 months.

However, the study also reveals that there is still a serious stigma attached to mental health issues in the workplace – meaning that those who are suffering are not getting the help they need.

While staff feel that their colleagues should take time off for stress, only 1 in 5 (19%) would actually do so – and many do not feel comfortable discussing it with either colleagues or their employer.

Just 33% of employees said that if they had a mental health issue they would feel comfortable talking to their employer about it, while even fewer (31%) would be happy to talk to colleagues if they had time off for mental health reasons.

Mental health issues are just one element of workplace health that contribute to high levels of employee presenteeism. More than two-thirds (68%) of employees said that the last time they were ill they went into work anyway.

Alistair Dornan, head of health management at Capita Employee Benefits, said: “The report offers a wide ranging assessment of employees’ views on in-work health and wellbeing, which can help employers better understand and manage some of the day-to-day issues facing their workforce. One thing it highlights is the difficulties that exist around talking about stress and mental health issues, not only between employees and employers, but also between colleagues. Tackling these issues can help employers deliver improvements in moral, organisational performance, innovation, employee engagement, talent attraction and retention.”

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