Mental health at work: statistics

Working conditions and environment can have a huge impact on mental health and, equally, someone's mental health can have a significant impact to perform well in their job.

  • 1 in 6.8 people are experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%).1
  • Women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem as full-time employed men (19.8% vs 10.9%).2
  • Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.3

Prevention of mental ill health at work

  • Better mental health support in the workplace can save UK businesses up to £8 billion per year.4

  • Introducing a workplace intervention in the form of an employee screening and care management for those living with (or at risk of) depression was estimated to cost £30.90 per employee for assessment, and a further £240.00 for the use of CBT to manage the problem, in 2009. According to an economic model, in a company of 500 employees where two thirds are offered and accept the treatment, an investment of £20,676 will result in a net profit of approximately £83,278 over a two year period.5

  • Promoting wellbeing at work through personalised information and advice, a risk-assessment questionnaire, seminars, workshops and web-based materials will cost approximately £80 per employee per year. For a company with 500 employees, where all employees undergo the intervention, it is estimated that an initial investment of £40,000 will result in a net return of £347,722 in savings, mainly due to reduced presenteeism (lost productivity that occurs due to an employee working while ill) and absenteeism (missing work due to ill health).6

Browse all of the mental health statistics

Our 2016 study 'The Fundamental Facts about Mental Health' follows a comprehensive summary of mental health research, providing a unique handbook of key facts and figures, covering all key areas of mental health.
Learn more

Mental Health at work: A-Z topics

Learn more about what impacts our mental health with our glossary pages.
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References

  1. Lelliott, P., Tulloch, S., Boardman, J., Harvey, S., & Henderson, H. (2008). Mental health and work. Retrieved from gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/212266/hwwb-mental-health-and-work.pdf

  2. Stansfeld, S., Clark, C., Bebbington, P., King, M., Jenkins, R., & Hinchliffe, S. (2016). Chapter 2: Common mental disorders. In S. McManus, P. Bebbington, R. Jenkins, & T.Brugha (Eds.), Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds: NHS Digital.

  3. ONS. (2014). Full Report: Sickness Absence on the Labour Market, February 2014. Retrieved from webarchive. nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_353899.pdf [Accessed 28/07/16].

  4. Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. (2009). Briefing 40: Removing Barriers. The facts about mental health and employment. Retrieved from ohrn.nhs.uk/resource/policy/TheFactsaboutMentalHealth.pdf

  5. Knapp, M., McDaid, D., & Parsonage, M. (2011). Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention: The Economic Case. Retrieved from gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/215626/dh_126386.pdf [Accessed 02/07/16].

  6. Knapp, M., McDaid, D., & Parsonage, M. (2011). Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention: The Economic Case. Retrieved from gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/215626/dh_126386.pdf [Accessed 02/07/16].

Mental health issues in the workplace impact employee engagement, productivity and reputation. Mental health is estimated to cost £1652 per employee per year. 

Mental Health at Work is a subsidiary of the Mental Health Foundation, supporting organisations to build capability around the mental health agenda through tailored mental health programmes, which encourage natural conversations about mental health as a part of everyday working life. 

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