Organisations still not providing enough support on mental health, poll finds

Organisations are still failing to provide enough support to staff in terms of their mental health according to our poll in conjunction with The Chartered Governance Institute Fewer than half (45%) of respondents to the poll believe that their organisation does enough to support staff’s mental health, with over a quarter (26%) stating that their organisation does not do enough. A similar poll a year ago found parallel results: 49% of respondents believed that their organisation did enough to support employees’ mental wellbeing and 31% believed that their organisation did not.

According to one respondent “there are lots of initiatives in place but unfortunately, the mental health issues relating to overwork and shortage of staff continues to be a problem with very little evidence of it being addressed”.

Of those organisations that are taking steps to provide support, the following methods are being employed

  • Mindfulness
  • Resilience training
  • Mental health first aid training
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Massage
  • Counselling
  • Wellbeing sessions
  • People’s Wellbeing Champions
  • Occupational Health support in person, by telephone and online.

The biggest barriers to overcome when seeking to improve wellbeing in the workplace are listed as lack of knowledge (59%) and stigma around mental health (51%). Cost was considered to be a barrier by just 11% of respondents, but concerns about fear of policies being taken advantage of and lack of interest were each cited by 19% of respondents as being a barrier.

“There is evidence that organisations are attempting to support employees, with 47% of respondents stating that their organisation has a mental health first aider, 66% saying that they have a counselling service, 52% having a wellbeing policy and 41% having specific management training on staff mental health. However, the fact that there has been little movement within a year in terms of the perception of how much support is given is cause for concern.

“Lack of knowledge and stigma still appear to be big hurdles to overcome. It cannot be right that people are holding back from reporting mental health issues in this day and age for fear that this will be perceived as weakness and affect their chances of promotion, a pay rise or a bonus. Such toxicity is the sign of poor organisational culture and addressing the symptoms of lack of wellbeing in the workplace will not succeed unless the underlying causes are tackled too. The reality of modern working is that there is less time to do a great deal more and this is increasing levels of stress. A positive culture and better engagement can do wonders to help employees feel they are a valued member of the workforce,” says Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director at The Chartered Governance Institute.

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