Seven out of 10 employees says mental wellbeing isn’t taken seriously enough in the workplace.
The poll – carried out by Health Shied, the cash plan provider – found a similar number of employees thought musculoskeletal issues were similar overlooked.
The survey found that two out of three workers said that their employer did not provide tailored support for either mental health or musculoskeletal conditions.
The research showed that these conditions can be linked, with 36 per cent of those stating that when they had suffered from a musculoskeletal problem, it contributed to an increase in anxiety.
In total just one in three workers said they had access to a 24/7 helpline to discuss mental and physical wellbeing.
There was overwhelming support for better and more targeted help. Nine out of 10 of those surveyed said they’d feel better knowing there was a clear treatment pathway available to help manage a mental health or musculoskeletal issue.
This research comes at a time when the UK government is starting to shape policy around the way in which companies could and should be supporting employees with mental health and musculoskeletal issues.
Health Shield’s head of product and marketing Jennie Doyle says: “For all the talk about employee wellbeing, the poll results seem to suggest that many employers are struggling to meet employee needs.
“Tailored mental and musculoskeletal wellbeing doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. It simply involves providing a choice of services that can be freely accessed at the time of need.”
The Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries executive chairman Stuart Scullion adds:“Research shows that depression is four times as common in people experiencing persistent pain.
“Clearly there’s a link between the two, so it would be wise for employers to consider cost-effective ways to provide integrated support. Having to go via a line manager, HR or the GP to get a referral can sometimes act as a barrier. Self-referral might help ensure that more people get the support they need.”
Health Shield says its tailored health cash plans provide support pathways that employees can access without a referral. These allow employees to access support from an Employee Assistance Programmes, virtual GP and physio triage. Employees have an option of phone, face-to-face or digital support.