Employees believe mental health conditions impede their careers

Almost a quarter (24%) of those with a mental health condition do not believe they have the same career progression as other colleagues.

In a survey of over 10,000 professionals and employers, recruitment firm Hays found 12% said they had felt this has led to their chances of being selected for a job being lowered.

But there appears to be more transparency when it comes to opening up about mental health, with more professionals at the start of their career reporting experiences with mental health conditions.

Twenty-eight per cent of those under 25 years’ old said they experienced poor mental health, compared to 20% of those aged 55 and above.

This however could signify more pressure being put on younger generations in the workplace.

More women (27%) than men (18%) typically reported mental ill health. Of female professionals who are 25 years’ old and under, this was even more prevalent as 31% said they had, or have previously experienced, a mental health condition.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly added extra pressures to professionals, with 53% of employees saying mental health support had become more important to them since lockdown

Yvonne Smyth, group head of equality, diversity and inclusion, said: “Mental health has quite rightly been in the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic as the impact of the virus has been felt on our personal and professional lives.

"It’s clear from our research that the experience of mental health amongst professionals is concerning, particularly for younger professionals and females.”

Smyth recommended employers support staff by talking more openly about mental health and resources available plus training managers to better spot signs of mental ill health.

She added: “Employers should reassess the support available and how it is being communicated to staff to ensure it is reaching those who need it, as more staff work either fully or partially remotely.”

Further reading:

Top tips for establishing a mentally-healthy workplace

Mental health stigma remains in the workplace despite campaigns

Employee mental health needs to be safeguarded

Mental health first aiders in the workplace - are they effective?