United Kingdom

Brits unaware of who to talk to about mental health issues

February 2016


A significant number of Brits do not know where to access support for mental health issues and who to ask for help, new research out this month has uncovered.

The survey, carried out by corporate health insurance provider Westfield Health who polled nearly 2,000 employees, found that 30 per cent did not know who to talk to or where to turn when they needed support with mental health difficulties. 38 per cent admitting to finding it difficult to talk about their issues, whilst 20 per cent believed colleagues attitudes towards them changed when they returned to work following a mental health-related absence.

Mark Witte, Senior Consultant at Aon Employee Benefits said: "The last few weeks has seen the issue of mental health thrust into the forefront of the socio-political arena. An NHS England Task Force suggested that three–quarters of people with mental health problems receive no help at all and has led to David Cameron admitting that not enough has been done to end the stigma of mental health."

In addition, the survey also showed:

  • 32 per cent felt they were treated differently after a mental health-related absence
  • 25 per cent felt 'weak' after disclosing a mental health illness.

Speaking about the research, Dave Capper, executive director, commercial at Westfield Health commented that although people are more open about mental health in general, improvements still needed to be made.

The research comes shortly after a survey released by Canada Life Group Insurance in December which found that 57 per cent of Brits were identified as having a mental health problem at some point during the course of their employment.

Witte added: "Recent studies show that mental health issues are responsible for as many as a quarter of lost working days and around a third of income protection claims. It's important therefore for employers to offer a targeted strategy, to help educate and support employees and managers, to hopefully reduce the need for extended care in the first place."



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