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Preventing mental health decline at work

Thursday, 25 November, 2021

In 2019/20 there were an estimated 828,000 employees affected by work-related stress, depression or anxiety. In 2019/20 work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 51% of all work-related ill health and 55% of all days lost due to work-related ill-health and is now the leading cause of ill health absence from work. Furthermore, research conducted by mental health charity, Mind, concluded that a ‘culture of silence’ around mental health is costly to employers: More than one in five (21%) respondents said that they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how workplace stress had affected them. 14% agreed that they had resigned and 42% had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them. Research also confirmed that 56% of employers said they would like to do more to improve employee wellbeing, but don't feel they have the right training or guidance.  

Andrea Steer, Senior Risk Consultant, Zurich Resilience Solutions said: “While work-related stress, depression and anxiety were already the leading causes for absence from work; the COVID-19 pandemic has also brought about challenges which have shifted the landscape of mental health risks. The epidemic has put a strain on many people's lives in different ways, for example, the virus created concerns about physical health due to the virus itself as well as increasing issues including lack of sleep quality, increased anxiety caused through loss of income or furlough which has had a significant impact on the population in general.”