Nearly a third of UK employees feel unsure about who to talk to or where to find help or support regarding mental health issues, research finds.
In addition, nearly 40 per cent find it hard to talk to or open up about their mental health to anyone, according to the Mental Resilience survey conducted by Westfield Health.
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According to the research of almost 2,000 working adults across the UK, 32 per cent of employees feel they are treated differently by their line manager after returning to work following absence related to mental ill health, and 20 per cent also feel their fellow colleagues’ attitudes towards them had changed.
When asked how they were treated differently, responses included: ‘I felt that people were walking on egg shells around me which made me feel low and not want to speak to anyone’ and ‘Due to the nature of my ill health colleagues were not sure how to approach me or what to say’.
Time to Talk Day is part of the anti-stigma campaign Time to Change, and aims to help end the misconceptions around mental health by breaking the silence around it and getting the nation talking.
Westfield Health executive director, Dave Capper says that in the study, employees report not knowing who to talk to or where to turn, often feeling isolated and lost, and a quarter of those surveyed believed that admitting you have a mental health issue shows weakness.
‘Furthermore, our research finds that the emotionally fit appear to be out of step with those who’ve experienced a mental health issue, with respondents stating that colleagues didn’t know how to broach the subject when they returned to work and regularly feeling like there was ‘an elephant in the room’.
‘So while mental health is becoming much more talked about in general, it’s clear that improvements still need to be made.’