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Almost half of UK employees know a colleague that has quit due to stress

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Only 33% of employees feel comfortable talking about their mental health problems with their employer. Do we need more provisions to help employees battle work-related mental health problems?

A worrying proportion of UK workers have known a colleague that has had to leave their role due to stress.

A report from Capita Employee Benefits, released to coincide with World Mental Health Day, reveals that 44% of UK employees have seen one of their peers quit due to stress. More than a third (36%) said that colleagues have complained about feeling stressed to their employer, but received no support. 

56% indicated they would not feel comfortable talking about stress or depression with their fellow workers, suggesting that stigmas around mental health still remain. Only 33% felt comfortable discussing mental health issues with their employer.

Alistair Dornan, head of health management at Capita Employee Benefits said: “Our research reveals that a significant proportion of the UK’s working population believes employers have a responsibility towards the personal health and mental wellbeing of their staff.

“And yet many workers are still uncomfortable speaking to their bosses about mental health, while a worrying quarter of the population say they have complained but nothing was done.”

When asked about the provisions in place to help them cope with stress, 41% said they would work through a strenuous period and only take allotted breaks, while 30% said they were allowed to step outside the office. Just 10% of employees said their company had an Employee Assistance Programme.

Dornan added: “For World Mental Health Day, we are urging employers to make sure they are doing all they can to make sure their workers feel they have somewhere to turn if they are suffering from stress or depression.” 

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