Debt and divorce are top mental health concerns at work

31 Dec 2018

Money worries and relationship breakup are among employees' biggest mental health worries, according to new research from professional services firm Aon.

Of the 92 employers surveyed, 39 said they were most concerned about the effect that money and debt would have on their employees' mental health. Another 27 cited separation and divorce, and 26 said that bullying and harassment was the biggest issue.

Other factors mentioned by the employers included loneliness, caring responsibilities, bereavement, technology, home/lone working, the menopause, addiction, and issues related to gender, sexuality and race.

Aon has also published a paper, The Contemporary Drivers of Mental Health, which reveals that 48% of employees have experienced a mental health problem in their current job yet only half have talked to their employer about it, and as many as a quarter of employees are struggling in silence.

Employers can be a big part of the solution by helping to prevent issues from occurring, detecting any problems early on, providing rapid interventions, and supporting employees who have longer-term issues, Aon explained.

"Within any organisational demographic there will be thriving workers, struggling workers and those with mental illness, so interventions are needed such as designing a positive, open and supportive culture around mental health and mitigating any psychosocial risks in the workplace itself," said Charles Alberts, head of health management at Aon and executive board member at EAPA, the UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association.

"Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) can play an important role in supporting an organisation's mental health strategy, both in terms of ensuring early detection of mental ill health, as well as providing access to treatment and services to support recovery," he added.

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