Only 14% feel they can discuss mental health at work, as MHFA launches Workplace Manifesto
New research commissioned by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has found that employees are three times more likely to discuss physical ailments over mental health issues at work.
The study of 2000 employed adults for the ‘Where's Your Head At?' campaign found that 42% of employees feel comfortable discussing prevalent physical conditions compared to just 14% who feel they can talk about common mental health conditions.
Only one in 10 workers said they would feel comfortable speaking about self-harm, psychosis, eating disorders, postnatal depression or schizophrenia, while almost 40% employees would be ok talking to their manager about cancer compared to just 12% who feel they could discuss bipolar disorder.
Employees would rather talk about diarrhoea (29%) than depression (26%) with their manager.
According to the research, over seven in 10 know basic physical first aid, such as bandaging a finger or treating a minor burn, however just a third (36%) feel confident talking to colleagues about common mental health struggles with stress and depression in the workplace.
To coincide with Mental Health Awareness week this week, ‘Where's Your Head At?' is launching its Workplace Manifesto, calling for leaders to understand, prioritise and commit to mental health within the workplace.
"Despite the increased awareness around mental health in the workplace, employees are telling us that there is still a significant gap in how we think and act about physical and mental health at work," said Simon Blake OBE, chief executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England.
"To address this gap, employers are being encouraged to translate awareness into action and stamp out the stigma of mental ill health in the workplace. The manifesto we are launching today gives employers the opportunity to show their commitment to protecting and supporting their people's mental health."
He added: "This manifesto is a mission statement for a healthier working world, where people's mental health is supported and protected and where wellbeing is at the heart of all we do. By signing this manifesto organisations from all sectors, and of all sizes, will join us in striving towards healthier working environments for everyone."
Welcoming Andy Morris as finance director and Shirley Fell as operations director
Two million UK people estimated to have dementia by 2051
How can we achieve mental and physical health parity at work?
Havensrock Thrive App