One third of employees say they felt more comfortable talking about mental health over the past 12 months than ever before, while six in 10 believe people will be more comfortable talking about their mental health in the future. Despite this, just one in 10 made use of counselling services that were available during the pandemic, demonstrating a disconnect in comfort levels between talking about mental health and actively accessing support services.
This was revealed through new multi-market research carried out by Ipsos MRBI on behalf of Allianz Partners. The research was conducted amongst expat and local employees in the UK, Germany, Canada, UAE and Singapore with the aim of measuring the impact of Covid-19 on respondents’ mental health and helping employers understand how best to support the mental health of their teams.
Highlighting importance of employee wellbeing
The research highlighted the importance of employers investing in health and wellbeing support and services to ensure a sustainable and productive workforce, as many staff are still dealing with the mental health challenges because of the pandemic. Although it’s evident that employers across the globe have been stepping up to provide support, a lot more can be done to ensure employees are using and reaping the benefits of these services.
Depression and anxiety costs the global economy US$1 trillion a year in lost productivity. Providing appropriate mental health support to employees improves not only the employee’s quality of life, but also increases companies’ productivity.
Paula Covey, Chief Marketing Officer for Health at Allianz Partners, commented: “While the health insurance industry always recognised the importance of mental health as well as physical health, in the wider public domain it felt, to some degree, like the silent elephant in the room that everyone knew was there, but people were sometimes uncomfortable talking about.
“Our long-term goal is to make talking about mental health as comfortable as talking about a sprained wrist. We want to encourage dialogue and help people to understand that mental health challenges are normal, sometimes frequent, and help them understand when and how to make use of support services.”
Meanwhile, British business leaders are set to increase their investment in employee wellbeing as they look to retain and nurture staff in the wake of ongoing economic concerns.