A third (32%) of all UK adults in full-time employment have suffered from poor mental health in the workplace. However, more than two-fifths (44%) of these individuals have never disclosed their issues to a manager, according to research by health technology organisation Mynurva.
The survey of over 2,000 employees also found that, among sufferers, 37% have never sought any professional help for their mental health problems, with men (42%) being more likely not to seek help than women (32%).
More than half (55%) of sufferers stated that they feared admitting their problems to a manager as it might hinder their chances of a promotion.
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Dr Zain Sikafi, chief executive and founder of Mynurva, said: “The research shines a light on just how many people in full-time work across the UK are suffering in silence with their mental health problems. Clearly, employees still live in fear of what will happen to their careers and colleague relationships if they were to open up about the problems they are facing, and this is a serious concern.”
Approximately three-fifths (59%) of respondents to the survey believed that if their mental health issues became common knowledge in the office then it would negatively affect their relationships with colleagues, with the figure rising to 71% among workers aged between 18 and 34. A similar percentage (58%) said they worried that their mental health problems would not remain confidential if they were to discuss them in the workplace.
Sikafi added: “Society is certainly taking positive steps forward in talking more and more about mental health, but evidently there is still much more to be done in a professional context. Stress, anxiety and depression significantly impact employees and their organisations, and so people must have the support and confidence they need to talk about their problems and seek the help they need.”