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Steep rise in number receiving mental health treatment

While many report working life has become more stressful and complex, there's also growing openness around mental health

The number of people receiving private mental health treatment has jumped by 53% in the last decade, according to figures from Bupa.

Data from the health and wellbeing provider showed the number of Bupa members receiving private mental health treatments has increased from 12,913 in 2007 to 19,715 in 2016. Stress and anxiety were key conditions, with treatment for these more than doubling over the last 10 years from 26,916 in 2007 to 69,537 in 2017.

The research coincides with the launch of the Bupa Wellbeing Edit, which found one in three (35%) of the 1,364 workers surveyed felt more confident talking to their line manager about mental health issues now than they had in the past year.

The figures revealed a growing openness towards mental health; with 36% saying workplace attitudes towards mental illness have improved. In addition, 30% said that mental health conditions are far less of a taboo now than 10 years ago.

Just under half (44%) of employees said working life had become more stressful and complex over the last 10 years.

Employers were also investing in mental health education and training, with around half (47%) of the 683 line managers surveyed saying they received formal training on how to manage team members’ mental health. More than a quarter (26%) of managers had training in the last year.

Patrick Watt, corporate director for Bupa UK, said: “The diversity of the modern workforce means there is no silver bullet for mental health. The report aims to encourage businesses to ensure holistic wellbeing remains a boardroom objective by creating a workplace culture that drives a healthy workforce and a healthy business.

“In our experience, wellbeing strategies that succeed are designed to meet the needs of their employees rather than generic goals. Businesses that adopt a tailored approach are more likely to engage their people using technology to achieve this impact. The first step to creating a long-term wellbeing strategy that starts with understanding what is important to employees to unlock the potential in all of their people and redresses the gap in engagement,” he said.