Half of UK employees have had a mental health problem at work
A survey by the mental health charity Mind has revealed that 48% of UK employees have experienced a mental health problem at work. And yet only half of those with a mental health problem have felt able to talk about it with their employer.
Reporting on the findings, the BBC spoke to 34-year-old Natalie Hunt, whose anxiety and depression impacted her first job at the age of 18. Working in a department store, she found herself becoming withdrawn, and feared having a panic attack at work.
Natalie’s manager asked her about the change in her behaviour. But when she spoke up about the problems she was having, her boss didn’t know what to do. No support was offered, and Natalie ended up leaving the job.
Natalie has now taken up part-time work in an organisation that offers support and flexibility, which helps her manage. Natalie also teaches art classes to people with mental health problems. Finding a supportive employer – and supporting others – has helped restore Natalie’s confidence.
New mental health gateway for employers
Natalie’s story highlights the need for a better understanding of mental health in the workplace. To help improve awareness and access to support, Mind has developed a new online gateway, which connects employers with mental health resources. Its resource bank includes documents, guides, tips, videos, courses, podcasts, templates and information from trusted sources. So employers know they’re getting reliable information. The gateway has been created in collaboration with Heads Together, the campaign led by the Princes William and Harry, and Duchess Kate Middleton.