For World Mental Health Day 2018 Accountancy Age are delving into the state of mental wellbeing in the accountancy industry and the workplace in general.
According to a survey by Business in the Community (BITC) in partnership with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, one in three employees in the UK have been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point.
The research found that financial services jobs are 44 percent more likely to cause a stress-related illness than the average role in the UK.
Recognising that accountancy lends itself to being a more stressful profession than others because of its longer working hours, firms are getting on board by introducing initiatives around mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
This said there is clearly more work to be done, since the BITC survey revealed only 60 percent of employees think that their line manager is genuinely concerned for their wellbeing, although this is rising as it was 55 percent in 2016 and 58 percent in 2017.
Concerningly, 64 percent of managers admitted to putting their organisation’s interests above the wellbeing of their own staff, and 12 percent do this every day.
While work is not always the reason someone is experiencing mental health problems in the workplace, 61 percent of UK employees have experienced poor mental health because of work.
Delving deeper than this, financial insecurity is shown to be a major cause of poor mental health. Only 17 percent of respondents believe their employer is supportive of those having financial difficulties.
While accountancy firms and businesses in general are introducing policies like flexible working and encouraging wellbeing to help combat stress at work, only 30 percent of managers have actually received any training around mental health.
Businesses might next need to look at training their employees to help each other when it comes to mental health, since 68 percent of managers feel there are barriers to them fully supporting the mental wellbeing of those they manage.
And it’s not like they are never in that situation. Out of managers who responded, 39 percent said someone has approached them to talk about their mental health, and ten percent said this was as recently as the last month.