This week is Mental Health Awareness Week

17 May 2018

Poor mental health at work costs the UK economy £99 billion per year.

Stress, a key factor in mental health, is top of the agenda for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

Recent research shows that 58 per cent of people in London feel that their mental health had been affected by their job at some point in their career, with more than 70 per cent of workers in London admitting to feeling stress at work.

The Investors in People’s first Managing Mental Health report shows that whilst the numbers are high in London, stress and workplace mental health conditions are impacting the region to a lesser extent than the national average, where 80 per cent of workers reported feeling stressed at work.

The survey also sets out the extent to which mental health support would be a priority for an employee in London, over and above other employee incentives, such as a 3 per cent pay rise. Findings are as follows:

- 23 per cent of workers would rather have workplace support for their mental health than a 3 per cent pay rise

- 24 per cent would rather have a trustworthy manager than a 3 per cent pay rise

- 32 per cent would rather have a comprehensive healthcare package than a 3 per cent pay rise

Commenting on the findings, Investors in People CEO, Paul Devoy, says: “The findings of Investors in People’s first ever Managing Mental Health report suggest that, for workers in London, stress and associated mental health worries at work are a significant presence. The fact that just 38 per cent feel that their workplace encourages an open culture around mental health is concerning, particularly given the research by Stevenson and Farmer which showed that poor mental health at work could be costing the UK economy as much as £99 billion per year.

Paul continues: “Workers in this region were most likely to say that improving the office culture around mental health was the change that their organisation could make if they wanted to better support employee mental health. Our Managing Mental Health report has given employers the insights they need to affect meaningful change in this area; it is vital that they take heed.”

Find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week.

See how stressed you are by taking the Mental Health Foundation short test, which uses the evidence-based perceived stress scale.

How to manage and reduce stress.