Survey shows a sharp increase in mental health issues in the workplace

The results of the Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 has revealed that there has been a sharp increase in the number of employees who are suffering from stress and other illnesses related to their mental health.

In 2017, 55% of employees said their mental health has suffered because of their job but in 2018, this figure has already risen to 68%. It’s perhaps unsurprising that employers are beginning to recognise the importance of tackling mental health and stress issues in the workplace.

42% of companies said they have now invested in proactive initiatives to help with this issue compared to just 36% last year. The survey also showed that more employers are providing health and wellbeing apps, jumping from 21% to 48% in the last year. The use of virtual GP services has also increased significantly with 27% of employers using them, up from 16% compared to 2017.

Head of healthcare and risk consulting at Aon Employee Benefits, Mark Witte commented:

“It’s particularly significant that more organisations are embracing technology to help deliver their strategy – both health apps and virtual GP services have seen considerable growth. We expect this trend to accelerate further in 2018 as increased adoption of technology supports the growing understanding that employee engagement is critical to any successful wellbeing strategy.”

How can you improve your wellbeing?

 Many of us are now affected by mental health issues but by taking the time to focus on your wellbeing, you can significantly help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Some great ways to improve your wellbeing include:

  • If you feel your relationships are suffering at home or in the office, speak to your manager about your workload. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask if you can delegate tasks, employ an additional team member or extend your deadlines
  • Try not to check work emails in the evenings or at weekends
  • Take your full holiday entitlement
  • Join a class or take up a hobby to keep you busy in the evenings so you’re not tempted to work
  • Spend more time with friends and family when you’re not at work
  • Exercise – this not only keeps you busy but also improves your mental wellbeing and confidence
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, take healthy lunches so you’re less likely to eat sugary snacks and get up and stretch your legs every once in a while
  • Don’t feel bad about taking a lunch break – you’re perfectly entitled to one and sitting at your desk all day staring at a computer isn’t good for you mentally or physically
  • Work out what’s triggering your stress or anxiety so you can anticipate problems and come up with ways to prevent them
  • Make an effort with your colleagues and get involved with events going on in the office
  • If your commute is stressing you out, speak to your manager about flexible working
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