New report highlights the rise and impact of mental health in the workplace

Today marks the launch of new report ‘Making Mental Health Top of the Agenda’.  Based on nationwide research commissioned by leading digital mental health provider SilverCloud, the report reveals the impact that the pandemic and cost of living crisis has had on employees’ mental health in the last six months. Insights from Ben, the automotive industry charity, have been included in the report.

Fifty percent have felt overwhelmed at work; with nearly half (48%) experiencing ‘burn out’, and more than a third (35%) feeling depressed. However, despite these findings, only a third of companies have increased their staff wellbeing investment since the start of the pandemic, leaving 50% of workers actively wanting more support.

Mental health in the workplace is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but instead should be viewed through a strategic lens that supports both economic impact and individual wellbeing. Businesses have a key responsibility to support and build a resilient workforce and put tools in place to manage and even prevent mental health issues in the first place,” says Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology at Alliance Manchester Business School, Manchester University.

Employees also reported that poor mental health impacts their performance at work:

  • Concentration levels negatively affected (60%)
  • Productivity levels diminished (56%)
  • Quality of work reduced (40%)
  • Relationships with colleagues affected (26%).

Dr Carolyn Lorian, Head of Clinical Transformation at SilverCloud says: “These findings reinforce the crucial role that businesses can play in supporting their workforces to unlock human and business potential; however, just 28% of employees believe employers are doing enough. This gap between employee reality and employer perception and action needs to be addressed.”

Making mental health a strategic business issue

The new research also shows that increases in productivity and profitability are being unlocked by companies who invest in their workforce’s mental health.  Over half (55%) of employers have seen an increase in staff productivity, plus increases in profitability (40%) and a reduction in absenteeism.

Interestingly, when it comes to Environment, Social Governance (ESG), 75% of companies include mental health and wellbeing as part of it. A further 40% of employers view mental health as a strategic issue and 70% believe workforce wellbeing has become more important for investors today than 10 years ago.

Solutions with Built-In Scale

When looking at potential workplace wellness solutions, digital mental health apps and programmes were recognised as valuable tools by 90% of employees.   ‘Anytime, anywhere’ accessibility and anonymity ranked in the top three user benefits. This was echoed by 80% of business leaders who are planning to adopt digital mental health tools in the next two years.

Professor Cary Cooper: “There are many ways in which businesses can build a stronger, more effective, sustainable and resilient organisation – from making mental health a strategic board-level priority, to upskilling line managers, and offering digital mental health tools that can support people to self-manage their mental health anytime, anywhere, and on their own terms. “

 The full white paper, Making Mental Health Top of the Agenda, is available for download. SilverCloud, with the support of Professor Cary Cooper, a leading expert in workplace wellbeing, have set out eight steps for businesses to build a robust mental health strategy.

For workplace wellbeing tips visit