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Mental health problems on the rise

New research by the Work Foundation has revealed that mental health problems in the workplace are far more widespread than...

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New research by the Work Foundation has revealed that mental health problems in the workplace are far more widespread than previously thought, and many line managers are ill-equipped to deal with those suffering from mental health problems.

Of the employees questioned, 66% said they or a work colleague had experienced a mental health problem. Of the line managers questioned, 70% had managed a member of staff with a diagnosed or suspected mental health problem.

About 46% of employees said they would go to their line manager if they were affected by mental health issues and 65% anticipated that their manager would be understanding.

However, few employees thought their managers would be able to provide practical support and only 2% thought they would have the knowledge and skills to handle the situation well.

Lack of information about mental health is emerging as a real problem for line managers:

l52% felt they did not have access to adequate information on how to manage people with mental health problems

l76% reported that their organisation did not have adequate policies or procedures to deal with mental health. If policies were in place, this was not made known to employees

l4% of managers with access to policies and procedures knew exactly how to handle a situation and deal with it well, but only 37% knew enough to deal with a problem satisfactorily.

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