The workplace mental health crisis

Date published: 11 October 2017

On World Mental Health Day (Tuesday 10 October) The Institute of Leadership & Management’s new report: Mind Culture shows how many employees who report mental health problems face negative consequences, including being sacked or forced out, demoted or subjected to disciplinary action.

More than half (51%) of survey respondents who had confided in their line manager about a mental health issue did not receive any extra support.

The size of an organisation can have a significant impact on how supported employees feel, with SMEs* being voted as the worst offenders for supporting mental health conditions.

• 8% respondents faced negative consequences, including being sacked or forced out, demoted or subjected to disciplinary action.

• Over half (51%) stated nothing changed after reporting their mental health issue to their line manager

• 45% of respondents saying that organisations with 10-49 employees didn’t support mental health problems very well
• 42% saying support in organisations with 100-249 employees was also basic

The most common support offered by managers was time off work, which was reported by 14% of respondents, while 10% could work from home. Yet respondents indicated that support with workload would have been more helpful than being able to take time off work.

Kate Cooper, Head of Research, Policy and Standards of the Institute of Leadership & Management commented: “The stigma associated with mental health is still such a present-day reality, and for it to change leaders and managers must see themselves as drivers of change.

"If employees come to you with an issue, your first response should be to listen, not send them home, but to support their workload, direct them to further support and let the workplace be a focus and a driver for their recovery.

"Sadly, 66% and 69% of male and female managers receive no mental health awareness training. For things to change organisations can invest in basic mental health literacy for all employees.”

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