As Mental Health Awareness Week kicks off, almost one third of UK employees have revealed that they would not feel comfortable talking to their manager about mental health problems.
Researchers have discovered that in excess of nine million workers would ‘dread’ discussing their mental wellbeing with their superior due to a fear of being judged.
One fifth worry that they would be ostracised, while 36 per cent think that confiding in their boss would hamper their career.
71 per cent of UK employees still consider mental health to be a taboo subject in the workplace, while four in 10 believe they are better off suffering in silence.
“Businesses need to create a culture of trust, openness, support and acceptance by providing clear support, advice and signposting,” said Sarah Kirk, global diversity and inclusion director at Michael Page, who commissioned the research.
“A good place to start is to support line managers with training and workshops on how to take care of themselves, but also spot signs of mental ill-health within their own teams.
“Some may not feel comfortable speaking to their manager about their mental health, but there are plenty of other ways for businesses to give people that confidence to speak up and bring their whole selves to work – after all, different things work for different people.
“Certain employees may benefit from talking to an HR business partner or calling an anonymous helpline, while others will choose counselling, yoga and other on-site activities, or simply a chat with one of their colleagues.”
The study of 1,000 employees also found that 41 per cent (13 million workers) have called in ‘sick’ rather than tell their boss the real reason.