A recent OnePoll survey commissioned by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) of 2,000 employed adults has shown that on average, 42% of employees feel comfortable discussing their physical health conditions, compared to just 14% who feel they can talk about common mental health issues.

Only one in ten workers stated that they would feel comfortable speaking about problems with their mental health. Almost 40 per cent of employees would be ok talking to their manager about cancer compared to just 12 per cent who feel they could discuss bipolar disorder or 26% who would be comfortable discussing forms of depression.

The research demonstrates that there is still a stigma when it comes with discussing mental health in the workplace, with first aid skills a clear indicator of this. Over seven in 10 employees know how to perform basic physical first aid, but just over a third feel confident talking to colleagues about common mental health struggles with stress and depression in the workplace – a basic part of Mental Health First Aid training.

Commenting on the findings Simon Blake OBE, Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England said,

Despite the increased awareness around mental health in the workplace, employees are telling us that there is still a significant gap in how we think and act about physical and mental health at work.

To address this gap, employers are being encouraged to translate awareness into action and stamp out the stigma of mental ill health in the workplace. The manifesto we are launching today gives employers the opportunity to show their commitment to protecting and supporting their people’s mental health.

This manifesto is a mission statement for a healthier working world, where people’s mental health is supported and protected and where wellbeing is at the heart of all we do. By signing this manifesto organisations from all sectors, and of all sizes, will join us in striving towards healthier working environments for everyone.

At polkadotfrog we envision a positive working environment for all, where people can speak openly about their mental health and seek the support they need from their employers in order to have a good work/life balance. Please get in touch with your local branch for advice on how to support your team in the best possible way.