UK professionals reluctant to use company mental health support

UK professionals reluctant to use company mental health support

Three quarters of UK professionals are unwilling to make use of their employer's mental health services despite the majority believing its important to talk

UK professionals reluctant to use company mental health support

Three quarters of professionals in professional services, banking and finance and commerce and industry who feel they may have a mental health issue are reluctant to make use of support provided by their employers, according to research by recruiters, Morgan McKinley.

Morgan McKinley’s Mental Health in the Workplace survey of 1,100 UK employees found that employees were unlikely to seek help despite 98% of respondents believing that mental health problems negatively impact productivity at work.

Andrea Webb, people director of Morgan McKinley, called on employers to do more for staff as the survey also found that over a third claimed their employer doesn’t offer any formal mental health, support and a further third were unaware of any support available at work.

“There’s a historical stigma that having a mental health issue is considered a ‘weakness’, although fortunately that view is changing. Despite raised awareness in recent years, many employers still aren’t doing enough to provide their workforces with mental health help,” Webb said.

Webb also said that better mental health services can cultivate a happier culture which improves retention.

“Having programmes in place is not only a useful attraction and retention tool that can help create a happy and positive office culture, but also it ultimately contributes to a more productive workforce as people get the support they need,” she said. “The fundamental foundations are in place at many organisations, but more needs to be done to improve confidence around the discussion of mental health issues at work so that individuals can get the help they require.”

The highest proportion of professionals formally diagnosed with a mental health disorder at 23% was professional services, while a further 44% thought “they may have an issue” or were “struggling but not diagnosed”.

Almost three quarters of respondents felt that it was good to talk about mental health issues at work, however two thirds of employees from professional services still did not make use of support even though it was available. Morgan McKinley said: “More needs to be done to understand why those employees who acknowledge that they have an issue are not utilising support offered at work.”

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