New data reveals British people would rather talk to their colleagues about relationship issues, money problems and even sex, than broach the topic of mental health.
A survey for Time to Change of 2,000 British workers suggests mental health remains one of the last taboos in the workplace, showing that, despite progress, there is still a lot more work to do in 2018 to combat the stigma of mental health.
When asked to select from a list of topics they felt they could talk openly about with their colleagues:
- 30% felt comfortable discussing a relationship break-up;
- 26% money problems
- 20% dating advice
- 19% religion
- 18% sex; while only
- 13% said mental health, with the topic ranking lowest out of a total 10 subjects.
One in four of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year and yet Time to Change says these figures show that when it comes to employment the vast majority of people still feel unable to speak openly about their mental health with their line managers and even their close colleagues. Indeed, Aon’s recent Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 reported a 13 percentage-point rise in work-related mental health issues between 2017 and 2018, however it also found employers are investing more in proactive mental health initiatives.
According to the survey, employers’ attempts to tackle workplace mental health and stress have increased from 36% to 42% since the previous year, with managers being trained to spot symptoms and offer better resilience support to staff. Encouragingly though, while people still feel uncomfortable talking about their own mental health, the Time to Change survey shows they do want to support others. Over half said they would support a colleague if they noticed they were struggling with their mental health.