POSTED: November 21 2017
Staff embarrassed to let employers know about their mental health

Staff embarrassed to let employers know about their mental health

The acceptance of mental health in the workplace still has a long way to go as two thirds of workers report they are too embarrassed to tell their boss about their mental health issues.


According to mental health charity, Mind, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. New research from the CV-Library has explored the views of 1,200 UK workers around depression and anxiety in the workplace. They found that 14.1% of respondents admitted to suffering with mental health problems. This increased to 26.9% for those workers under 18s.


The report explored the views of 1,200 UK workers and found that a third of professionals (31.7%) feel that their workplace is not supportive of mental health, with a further 77.8% believing that the majority of workplaces in the UK are not unsupportive enough.


This supports the view that the research discovered that that nearly two thirds (60.2%) of employees feel embarrassed about disclosing information on the state of their mental health with their employer. What’s more, 60.8% feel they cannot talk about it with their boss.


Nearly two thirds (64.2%) of workers fear their employer would judge them if they spoke about their mental health issues, with a further 46.8% worrying that doing so will make them look weak and one third (36.7%) fear that they would get fired if they told their boss about their mental health issues.


In addition 63% said that they would feel guilty taking time off work for mental health reasons


Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library commented on the findings: “Mental health in the workplace continues to be a hot topic, and this is because it is clearly not being dealt with effectively. We are a nation that is under more pressure than ever before and it’s therefore unsurprising that people will be feeling the effects whilst at work.


“Businesses should prioritise creating a culture where openness and honesty are encouraged. In turn, this will ensure that workers feel comfortable confiding in their boss, making coming to work that little bit less stressful.”


With 70.7% of workers admitting that their mental health issues impact their working life, it’s clear that employers need to do more to help make the working day easier for people. When asked what measures they thought employers should introduce to help combat mental health in the workplace, respondents cited the following:


  1. Promote a healthy work/life balance (38.6%)
  2. Create an environment where mental health is not stigmatised (15%)
  3. Refer employees to a counselling service (13.7%)
  4. Talk more openly about mental health (11.9%)
  5. Allow employees to take time out when they need to (8.6%)


One area that should be supported by employers was highlighted by the CY-Library report as 83.6% of employees said that they think employers should offer ‘mental health days’, in which employees are encouraged to take time out to look after their health, with a further 78% stating that they would be more likely to work for a company that offered ‘mental health days’.


You can download the CV-Library’s report on mental health in the workplace here.


You can download the CV-Library press release here.