Research calls for greater line manager awareness of mental health issues
Research recently published by Unum in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation reveals that just one-third (34%) of workers who experienced mental health problems in the last five years felt well supported by their line managers. It reports that line managers routinely underestimate how well their workplace supports staff mental health and wellbeing.
Nearly half (45%) of the managers surveyed here thought that an employee experiencing a mental health problem would be supported to remain in work, with reasonable adjustments made to their role. Yet just 19% of workers with mental health issues said they’d received such support.
“EAPs play a vital role in giving managers the knowledge and confidence to effectively address mental health issues in the workplace. The vast majority of EAPs contact a ‘manager services’ component which enables line managers to educate themselves about mental health issues in a confidential and non-judgemental setting, providing them with the skills and confidence to make early and effective interventions when the need arises,” commented Neil Mountford, chair of the UK EAPA.
73% of employees who have experienced a mental health problem say they would know how to have a conversation with a colleague who was finding it hard to cope and half of line managers felt confident that they could recognise the signs that a member of their team was having problems coping.
“A key challenge for many HR teams and EAP providers is to create and promote employee awareness of the EAP and making the support available here as accessible as possible to all employees. Whether it’s via an app the free-phone helpline number or the intranet, there are many ways for line managers and individuals to seek support for mental health issues and it’s vital that promoting the service remains at the top of HR’s ‘to do’ list,” adds Neil Mountford.
Alongside the research, Unum and the Mental Health Foundation have developed a mental health training module and online workshop with practical solutions and advice for business leaders and HR professionals. You can find out more about this at http://landing.unum.co.uk/mental-health.