Research recently undertaken by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, has found almost one in three people have experienced mental health issues at work.

Despite this, many employees felt that they weren’t supported enough at work. Just four in ten (44%) would feel confident disclosing mental health problems to their current employer or manager.

In response, the CIPD is calling on organisations to take a more preventative approach to employees’ mental wellbeing, encouraging a culture of openness in their workplace, while also training managers to provide support.

“Mental health should get just as much attention as physical health” said Rachel Suff, Employment Relations Adviser at the CIPD.

“Employers have a responsibility to manage stress and mental health at work, making sure employees are aware of, and able to access, the support available to them. There’s a clear role for HR professionals and line managers to ensure that employees are getting the support they need and feel they can speak up.”

While 27% of employers surveyed have access to occupational health services, only 10% of companies are providing training for managers so they are able to support mental health problems.

“Line managers play such a crucial role in an employee’s experience of work” states Suff.  “However, line managers are not counsellors and will need training themselves if they are to feel confident and competent to create this ‘open’ culture and support and manage employees with mental health issues. This should be the starting point for employers.”

“Promoting good mental health also makes good business sense, as employees are likely to be more engaged and productive if they work for an organisation with a workforce wellbeing strategy that emphasises the importance of both good mental and physical health.’

You can read the full report from the CIPD here.