Work stress is not being tackled properly by employers, a new report from the mental health charity Mind suggests.
The findings come only days after the RCN said that nurses are suffering “unprecedented” levels of stress and ill health due to staff cuts and overwork.
This is forcing them to choose between their patients’ health and their own, as regards coming into work when sick, according to the RCN’s poll of 2,000 staff.
As many as 55% of staff claim they have been made unwell by stress in the previous year.
The more recent Mind survey found that nearly half of workers (45%) across all professions claim that staff are expected to manage without mentioning stress at work.
Nearly a third (31%) said that they would not be able to speak openly to their line manager if they felt stressed.
Mind has also found a massive gap in the perceptions of managers and other staff about how mental health is tackled in the workplace. Just 22% of workers felt that their manager actively helps them manage stress.
Several bosses, however, appear to believe that they are sufficiently supporting staff. As many as 68% claim that they would find methods of helping staff who are stressed or suffering a mental health problem.
Chief executive of Mind, Paul Farmer, said the new survey shows that stress “remains the elephant in the room” in many workplaces.
He said: “It is vital that managers are equipped with the tools they need to be able to confidently and effectively support their staff, whether they are experiencing stress or mental health problems as a result of work or other factors.”
Mr Farmer said there is a “real danger” that companies are neglecting workplace mental health, with huge implications for staff wellbeing, productivity, motivation and sickness absence.
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