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Brief Published: 16 Oct 2019

Targeting Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

The survey found that 64% of workers with mental health conditions have discussed their issues with colleagues

Almost a quarter of UK workers (24%) have a mental health condition, and 28% of sufferers have missed work due to their illness – according to a new survey from US job site Indeed. As the mental health crisis continues, employers should explore innovative ways to boost workplace wellbeing.

The survey was released to coincide with World Mental Health Day 2019 (October 10). Other highlights included:

  • Misreading the Situation: Some 38% of employers think that less than 10% of their staff have mental health problems. This is lower than the number who are actually affected, highlighting the need for better symptom recognition and emotional support in the workplace.
  • Sharing is Caring: As taboos and stigmas surrounding mental health dissolve, people are opening up about their emotional struggles. In fact, 64% of workers with mental health conditions have discussed their issues with colleagues. Brands should encourage this in-office discourse by providing wellbeing-focused initiatives and environments in the workplace. 
  • Wellness Architecture: Future office environments will focus more on elevating employee wellbeing, both emotionally and physically. A successful example is Canadian architecture firm Lemay’s new Montreal office. It features biophilic interiors, natural lighting and healthy-eating schemes designed to boost the morale of employees.

Given 15.4 million working days were lost in the UK during 2018 due to mental health issues (HSE 2018), it is clearly a commercial imperative for brands to support their employees’ mental wellness. For more on how to achieve this, see Nurturing Mental Health. Look to The Consumer of 2035: Wraparound Wellness and Materialising Modern Work for more ways in which workspaces can be designed with wellness in mind.