UK Poll Shows Managers Have Important Role In Employee Mental Health


Saratosa, FL ( – A recent poll by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) indicates that employees are not comfortable talking about their mental health.

Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) and Bauer Media Group commissioned the IOSH poll in preparation for their Where’s your head at? campaign on mental health.

According to a recent Personnel Today article on the IOSH poll, only 14 percent of the 2,000 surveyed workers felt comfortable talking about mental health issues. By comparison, 42 percent of workers felt comfortable discussing physical issues.

In a separate poll administered by Opinium for insurer QBE of 500 managers and business insurers, employees with unaddressed mental health issues can have a huge impact. According to Insurance Business Magazine, two out of five managers surveyed had lost contracts due to employees continuing to work with mental health issues.

While 90 percent of business owners think that it’s perfectly fine to take time off due to mental health, still 40 percent of employers had rather employees keep working. With nearly half of employers preferring employees continuing to work, it’s no wonder employees are not willing to talk about mental health.

The survey also showed that 40 percent of those polled did indicate a loss of business when employees continued to keep working while dealing with stress. Those losses included 11 percent loss of customer, and 17 percent failure to provide a service or product.

According to QBE poll, most of the employers they surveyed had implemented strategies to deal with mental health, resulting in a 62 percent increase in productivity. This contrasts with a study done by the IOSH.

Overall, managers have an important role in their employee’s mental health. Around 300,000 employees with mental health conditions lose their jobs every year in the UK. According to an IOSH study, employers and managers are not only in a position of creating a worker friendly environment, but with the right training can spot the early warning signs of stress and other issues. In contrast, a poor manager can exacerbate anxiety and stress in their employees.

However, employee mental health doesn’t stop with the manager. In the IOSH study, 62 percent of managers felt they did not get enough support or training from their employers. Additionally, the IOSH study shows that 57 percent of employers had no mental health training whatsoever. Of those that did have training, only 22 percent of the employers made the training mandatory, and for 79 percent the training was optional.

It seems that the stigma of psychological conditions may be at the lack of support as 80 percent of those questioned stated that were reluctant to discuss the topic of mental health. Many of the mangers that were polled during the study indicated that they rarely if ever discussed the topic of mental health.


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