Many workers suffering mental health issues are afraid to discuss them with their employer, research has revealed.
No fewer than one in four has experienced a psychological problem, sometimes caused by their work, according to the survey of 2,000 adults.
Yet it found that mental health issues were being “swept under the carpet” in the workplace - and staff in the public and voluntary sectors were more likely to suffer than those in private firms.
Only one in four of respondents questioned by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said their employer encouraged staff to talk about mental health problems, a situation which can lead to incidents of so-called presenteeism.
CIPD spokesman Ben Willmott said stress was the main cause of long-term sickness absence, but it is not just time lost to absence which can hit productivity.
He added: “It is estimated that this presenteeism costs UK businesses £15.1 billion per year in reduced productivity, while mental health-related sickness absence costs £8.4 billion.”