In recent years, many organisations have taken action to unlock the value of positive employee mental health. Since the pandemic, we have seen 81% of workplaces increase their focus on employee mental health [1]. While this is great, evidence shows that 36% of companies take a more reactive approach to implementing support for their employees, rather than being proactive. [1]

Workplaces that thrive adapt to changing culture. Are you a line manager looking for information on how you can support your team better or an HR professional looking to improve your wellbeing strategy? Now is the time to take a more strategic approach to ensuring employee mental health is a top priority.

Find out more about investing in employee mental health

The prevalence of mental ill health at work

1.  At any one time, one in six people of the working age population of Britain experience symptoms associated with mental ill health. [2]


2.  50% of employees have experienced at least one characteristic of burn out due to greater job demands and expectations, lack of social interaction and lack of boundaries between work and home life. [3]


3.  Almost half of workers (46%) say they’ve worked in recent months despite not feeling physically or mentally well enough to perform their duties. [4]


The cost of mental ill health for employers  

4.  Mental ill health costs UK employers approximately £56 billion each year. [3]

– Annual cost of presenteeism: approx. £28 billion

– Annual cost of staff turnover: approx. £22 billion

– Annual cost of absenteeism: approx. £6 billion

5.  The total annual cost of mental ill health to employers have increased by 25% since 2019. [3]


6.  For every £1 spent by employers on mental health interventions, employers could get back £5.30 in reduced absence, presenteeism, and staff turnover. [3]

Find out more about investing in employee mental health

Supporting employee mental health in the workplace

7.  55% of respondents, in the CIPD good work index survey, who have experienced depression in the past 12 months said work had contributed, however, only 36% discussed this with their boss or employer. [4]


8.  One third expect or would like more support for their mental health and wellbeing from their employers. [3]


9.  Only 38% of HR respondents, in the CIPD Health and wellbeing at work survey, think line managers in their organisation are confident to have sensitive conversations and signpost staff to expert sources of help if needed. [4]


10.  Just over a quarter of workers (26%) say they struggle to relax in their personal time because of work. [4]


Practical recommendations for workplaces to support employee mental health

– Prioritise physical and mental health equally in the workplace.

– Train your managers to be able to support the mental health and wellbeing of their teams. Explore our training courses for managers.

– Review your workplace culture to ensure it promotes a healthy work-life balance for employees.

– Create a workplace where staff feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work. Click here for free resources including ‘Talking Tips’ and ‘My Whole Self MOT’.

– Improving workplace mental health remains the biggest positive change any organisation can make; however, we know worthwhile change will not happen overnight.

– Chat to us today about our diagnostic service, Startwell, to develop an empowering and actionable mental health roadmap for your organisation, with tailored recommendations for change.

More information about Startwell


Presenteeism: Attending work in spite of illness and so not performing at full ability. [3]

Absenteeism: Days absent from work in relation to mental health issues. [3]

Burnout: Burnout is a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and reduced professional efficacy. [5]



[1] CIPD health and wellbeing at work survey (2022)
[2] Royal College of Psychiatrists: Mental Health and Work report (2016)
[3] Deloitte UK Mental Health Report (2022)
[4] CIPD good work index (2022)
[5] The World Health Organisation (2019)