Mental health at work manifesto launched

As a survey shows the stigma still attached to talking about mental health at work, a manifesto for mental health in the workplace is launched.



Employees are three times more likely to feel comfortable discussing common physical health problems with their employer than  similar mental health problems, according to a new survey for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The Where’s Your Head At survey by Mental Health First Aid England and Bauer Media UK is of 2,000 employees and shows that on average, 42% of employees feel comfortable discussing prevalent physical conditions, compared to just 14% who feel they can talk about common mental health issues.

It also shows that:

  • Only around 1 in 10 workers would feel comfortable speaking about self-harm, psychosis, eating disorders, postnatal depression or schizophrenia
  • Almost 40% of employees would be ok talking to their manager about cancer compared to just 12% who feel they could discuss bipolar disorder
  • We would rather talk about diarrhoea [29%] than depression [26%] with our manager

The research shows over seven in 10 employees know basic physical first aid, such as how to bandage a finger or treat a minor burn, but just over a third [36%] feel confident talking to colleagues about common mental health problems with stress and depression in the workplace – a basic part of Mental Health First Aid training.

The survey comes as MHFA and Bauer Media UK launch a new Workplace Manifesto. It calls for employers to sign up as official supporters of the Manifesto and commit to recognising the need to prioritise mental health, build diverse and inclusive workplaces, treat mental and physical health equally and turn mental health awareness into positive action.

Simon Blake, Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England said: “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.”


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