Easy Access To Mental Health Support

Easy Access To Mental Health Support

There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on mental health and wellbeing across the country. As a result, many businesses are responding and supporting their employees as best they can in very trying circumstances.

However, there is no getting away from the fact that Covid-19 is also fuelling nothing less than a surge in work-related stress across the UK and across the globe. Recently published research from AXA shows exactly what is happening in this regard.

work-related stress surges

According to AXA’s A Report on Mental Health & Wellbeing in Europe, nearly two-thirds (64%) of workers across the UK and Europe said their work-related stress levels had increased compared with pre-pandemic levels. Of more concern is that of these individuals, eight in 10 (81%) described themselves as having a “poor” or “low” state of mind.

When it comes to UK workers, 27% of people aged 25-34 said their mental health had deteriorated during the pandemic, compared with 17% of over-55s.

In terms of the reasons behind the decline in mental health among workers, unsurprisingly, missing personal encounters was cited as a top cause. Along with Spain (85%), Britons (82%) lead the way when it comes to missing physical contact with people outside of their direct household. France (78%), Italy (78%) and Belgium (75%) followed.

Seeking EXPERT VS SELF-HELP

Meanwhile, research from Bupa Global has revealed that as many as 64% of senior business leaders with pandemic-related mental ill-health have turned to potentially unhealthy coping mechanisms.

As part of its Executive Wellbeing Index, Bupa Global found that two in five board members in the UK have turned to alcohol or drugs during the crisis, while others have been using cigarettes or vaping, excessive exercise, over or under-eating and/or gambling.

The Bupa study also revealed the extent of the pandemic’s impact on mental health, with eight in 10 (78%) individuals having experienced symptoms such as fatigue, lack of motivation, mood swings and disturbed sleep. Business-related worries, economic recession, protecting the health of loved ones, coping with reduced personal freedoms and fear of financial insecurity were all cited as triggers.

Perhaps saddest of all is the fact that many people are still reluctant to speak out and seek help because of the stigma associated with mental health issues — and this despite initiatives to heighten mental health awareness during the pandemic.

Indeed, two in five board executives (42%) said their reputations would be damaged if it came to light that they were struggling, while a similar number are concerned about how seeking help would impact their professional or social reputation.

FINDING THE RIGHT SUPPORT

In the main I think an increasing number of employees are more open about disclosing mental health related issues over a period. This report shows a barrier still exists in the eye of the storm, when support is most needed. Encouraging employees to admit to their employers that they are struggling with life (with an implication of work) at a time when they may not feel at their most confident, will always be challenging. If the aim truly is to support the employee and hopefully reduce potential absenteeism, then considering a truly confidential ‘easy access to support solution’, is hugely beneficial.

Mental Health issues often have a better outcome when addressed towards the outset, which is why early intervention is so important. The systems to achieve this are relatively low cost. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

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