Growing need to offer mental health support

More than half of HR executives have had to provide mental health and stress counselling to colleagues in the workplace over the past two years.

According to MetLife Employee Benefits, these figures highlight the growing need for greater awareness and support for mental health in the workplace. Its study shows 53% of HR staff have found themselves providing counselling – more than double the number who have had to settle disputes among staff.

HR departments are becoming more concerned about mental health issues – 67% of those questioned say it is a major issue at their workplace. Official figures estimate the cost to the UK economy, the National Health Service and society as a whole at around £105 billion with around one in four people experiencing mental health issues.

MetLife UK employee benefits director Tom Gaynor said: “The pressure on HR departments from dealing with mental health issues is growing and shows the strain they are under dealing with issues they are not necessarily trained for. It also highlights a significant gap in training and the capability of line managers to fulfil this business critical role.”