New research released by a mental health charity appears to indicate under-pressure employees are dealing with stress alone, as companies do not offer enough support. Mind surveyed 2,000 staff and found that 45% feel they are expected to work through stress without bothering anyone, while almost one in three do not feel they can speak to their boss about stress.
There is a big difference between how managers and their staff believe mental health is being tackled at work. Just over a fifth of employees say their manager has actively helped them cope with stress, while almost seven in ten bosses said they help staff through their problems.
Staff downbeat on stress assistance
The poll by Mind also found that just over a third of workers feel dealing with mental wellbeing is an organisational priority, while around two in five say stress is seen as a sign of weakness in their workplace.
Only one in three believe time off for stress is given the same attention as time off for physical illness or work injuries, while 42% think stress-related sickness is viewed as an ‘excuse’ to have time off.
Stress ‘elephant in room’
Mind chief executive Paul Farmer said the results of the study indicate “stress remains the elephant in the room” in many workplaces, with a “worrying” difference between the views of bosses and workers on how mental health is addressed.
“It is vital that managers are equipped with the tools they need to be able to confidently and effectively support their staff, whether they are experiencing stress or mental health problems as a result of work or other factors,” he said.
“There is a real danger that companies are neglecting workplace mental health, with huge implications for staff wellbeing; not to mention productivity, motivation and sickness absence. Employers depend on their staff and there are lots of small inexpensive measures they can put in place to improve wellbeing and make a huge difference to all staff.”
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