Stress and depression hit 7-year high in financial services

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Stress, depression and anxiety has increased to a seven year high in the financial services sector, Legal and General has reported.

According to data from the Health and Safety Executive, the prevalence of stress, depression or anxiety in ‘Financial and Insurance activities', is at its highest rate since 2004/05 at 1,880 per 100,000 (2011/12).

In 2004/05 - using the HSE's central estimate - the prevalence of stress was 1,950 per 100,000; 2011/12 has seen the highest stress levels since this date.
Legal & General's internal group income protection (group IP) claims statistics for 2012 show 35.8% of all claims are for mental health illnesses.

Legal & General's previously published research report, 35cubed, that analyses what has changed for 35 year olds between 1977 and 2012, showed that 50% of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claims by those aged 35 to 44 are related to mental and behavioural disorders.

The provider said stress was a big problem among the working population and there was an ever increasing need to tackle the issue.

Jim Islam, managing director of Legal & General group protection, said: "These figures show that stress is increasing in financial services and should act as a reminder to employers that good quality support for their team is essential to build a resilient workforce.

"The financial services sector is under pressure to deliver for their clients and this job is particularly tough in difficult economic times. Early intervention and support is crucial in mental stress situations."

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