Mental Health Survey Reveals Increased Levels of Workforce Mental Distress and A Decline In Employer Focus On Creating Good Work Environments
The 2022 Workforce State of Mind Survey has reported, 57 per cent of those surveyed have experienced a mental health issue in the last twelve months. This has increased from 53 per cent in 2021. In addition, only 11 per cent of those questioned said that somebody regularly checks on their mental health at work, down from 19 per cent last year.
Mental health stigma is also still prevalent in the workplace with 48 per cent of respondents, up from 42 per cent last year, stating they would not be honest with an employer if they felt they needed time off for a mental health issue. When questioned why they would not be honest, the top three reasons given were: Fear of a negative effect on their career (24 per cent), difficulty talking about mental health (22 per cent) and concern that others would think negatively of them (19 per cent).
“The picture our survey is providing into the mental health of the workforce is showing a downward trend”, says Lindsey Simpson Director at Workplace Mental Wealth and Survey curator.
To download a free copy of the 2022 State Of Mind Survey Summary Report, visit: www.workplacementalwealth.com
“Last year, we were in the grips of the pandemic when we questioned people, with facilities still closed. This year, most facilities are fully open and most organisations are using physical workspaces again. When we asked people about the effects of the pandemic on their mental health, 47 per cent said the pandemic had negatively impacted it, an improvement of 11 percentage points on last year. This is encouraging news, but workforce mental health is not just a pandemic issue”
The State of Mind Survey also explored the approaches and actions of employers to support psychosocial health and safety at work. The survey reports, whilst 42 per cent of employers questioned stated they have a wellbeing strategy they communicate to all employees, up from 40 per cent last year, most of the markers depict a static or downward slide in health and safety approaches and actions that support mental health, particularly around prevention and protection from foreseeable harms.
For example, 62 per cent of employers collect data on absence due to mental health conditions – down 1 percentage point on last year. Only 17 per cent of employers quantify the cost to their organisation of absence due to mental ill health – down 5 percentage points on last year, less than half (44 per cent) have a dedicated budget for employee mental health activities – down 3 percentage points on last year, only 21 per cent have team wellbeing in their managers’ yearly objectives – down 8 percentage points on last year, and only 11% of employees said someone regularly check on my mental health down from 19% from last year.
Lindsey comments: “Our Survey attracted responses from 77 employers across a broad spectrum of organisation types, including; charitable trusts (29 per cent), local authorities (10 per cent), single site operators (10 per cent) and equipment or service suppliers (10 per cent). The results suggest that there is much more employers could be doing to create working environments that are more protective and supportive of employee mental health.
“There are many reasons why an organisation would be wise to focus more on the mental health of its people. It makes sense in terms of compliance, commercial benefits and risks, and compassion, especially in a sector that is based in improving the population’s wellbeing. Many organisations are not paying enough attention to prevention by identifying and removing foreseeable mental health risks where possible, or controlling risks where they cannot be removed. This risk management approach should be part of organisational culture that supports both the health and the safety of its people.
There is some good news. Most individuals (75 per cent) feel cared for by line managers and 78 per cent of respondents said, if a colleague approached them about a mental health issue, they felt effectively equipped to support them directly or to signpost them to appropriate support, at work or otherwise.
Katie Lewis, Director at Workplace Mental Wealth, adds: “I have worked in the sector for more than 30 years and I, like many others who have completed our survey, have felt in the main, that managers do care. But we need to go further, professionalising processes and procedures that formalise the will to support our colleagues, creating good work practices that are well documented and implemented with authenticity.”
The 2022 State of Mind Survey, owned and managed by Workplace Mental Wealth, attracted 666 individual responses across all levels of the workforce from apprentices to directors and included those with employed and self-employed status. 77 employers also submitted responses. All questionnaires were completed between January 17 and February 11, 2022. Responses were completed online and were anonymous.
For more info and to also download both The 2022 State Of Mind Survey Summary Report and The 2021 Summary Report visit: www.workplacementalwealth.com.