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Half of UK employees leave their job due to poor mental health support

Almost half of employers have had an employee leave due to poor mental health support, according to a new survey.

Carried out by not-for-profit healthcare company, Benenden Health, the survey included 1008 employees and 1003 employers from across the UK.

The survey found that 47% of businesses had experienced an employee leaving due to a lack of mental health support at their workplace, while 25% of respondents had witnessed a key member of staff leave their company.

The figures reflect attitudes toward the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace, with 36% of employees thinking it is a priority for their employer, and 57% of employees saying that a supportive mental wellbeing policy would increase the appeal of a new job.

In addition, 55% of employees would look for another job if they felt their mental wellbeing was not being supported – a figure that was highest in 18 to 24-year-olds (78%) and lowest in the over 55s (38%).

From an employer perspective, 58% said that they care about the mental wellbeing of their staff, even though only 53% of companies had asked employees for mental health support suggestions.

Mental wellbeing support that employees valued the most in the survey were free counselling (46%), mental health sick leave (45%), regular workload reviews (41%), and a confidential mental health helpline (35%).

Read more: Work-related stress surges across Europe – but mental health attitudes

are improving

“It is concerning that employers have reported losing good staff due to poor mental wellbeing provision, something that employees clearly consider important and which could be creating a perfect storm for UK organisations," said Bob Andrews, chief executive at Benenden Health. “The data highlights a missed opportunity for employers to listen to their staff and promote good mental wellbeing within their organisation, as this can have a real positive effect not only on the health of employees but also on absence rates, productivity, recruitment and retention."

The survey findings paint a worrying picture for UK businesses, with concerns already high regarding a surge in mental illness in coming months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work-related stress has substantially increased across Europe during 2020, while almost 40% of UK business leaders have 'self-medicated' with drugs and alcohol to help with their mental health during the pandemic.

To read the full report, click here.

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