Employers not doing enough to support workers with mental illness

An increasing number of employees are summoning the courage to approach their employers about mental health problems, according to a new study.

However, few employers have the means to safely and helpfully address the issue, which is compounding the crisis.

The latest research suggests that around four in 10 directors have been approached by staff concerned about mental health – up by around 25 per cent compared to the year previous.

The figures are encouraging, but now more needs to be done to improve the awareness and support of mental ill-health in the workplace.

According to the study, published by the Institute of Directors (IoD) ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, just one in five business leaders said they were able to offer mental health training for management.

Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said: “While mental health is no longer the taboo subject it was, much work remains to be done. Directors must take to heart the importance of their workforce’s mental health, just as they would their physical health.

“The bottom line is this: the workplace shouldn’t be somewhere that people feel they have to hide the problems they are facing. In fact, it should be one of the places where help is most easily found.

“Larger organisations need to make sure that good practice spreads through every layer of their organisation. In smaller firms, where capacity for formal training is often limited, managers must still show willing to engage with the issue.

“We want businesses to see tackling mental health not as a drain on resources but as a positive investment in the wellbeing of their staff.”

Share this article:Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn