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Companies don't do enough to support mental health, says report

Companies don't do enough to support mental health, says report

According to employee engagement company Wildgoose, one in six UK workers feel worried that raising mental health concerns with their company could result in job loss.

The Employee Mental Health and Remote Working report asked employees from 129 different UK companies whether their mental health at work had improved or worsened over the past year.

The report also asked whether these employees felt comfortable raising any mental health concerns with their employers and what they believed would happen if they did.

Findings

In response to these questions, the report found:

• 95% feel that their company doesn't do enough to identify and support those with mental health concerns.

• 86% believe that their workplace is not a safe space for employees to be open about mental health.

• One in three employees feel less able to raise mental health concerns during remote meetings, resulting in issues to go unnoticed.

• Over one in eight companies in the UK don’t have a process in place for remote workers to report mental health concerns. This is most prevalent in SMEs, where this figure nearly doubled to one in five not having a process in place.

What do employees want from their companies?

With worsening employee mental health a growing concern, the change most desired by employees is for companies to offer more regular in-person meetings (36%) and for managers to receive better training on identifying signs of poor mental health (36%).

Just under a third of respondents (32%) state they would like to see a process policy of reporting mental health concerns, which is not currently offered, followed by assurances of job security after reporting.

Commenting on the findings, Jonny Edser, MD, Wildgoose, said: “As remote and hybrid working practices become more widespread, companies need to start doing more to ensure that employees are still receiving the same levels of mental health support. With less regular in-person meetings and casual catch-ups in the office, it can be much harder to spot the signs of poor mental health.

“For this reason, it’s essential that employers communicate with their staff, finding out how they would like to be supported. Perhaps they’d appreciate more regular workload reviews, weekly face-to-face meetings, or even the creation of better mental health policies. The most important aspect is that employees feel comfortable and safe to discuss any concerns.”