Mental health at work: statistics

Working conditions and environment can have a huge impact on mental health, and, equally, someone's mental health can significantly affect performing well in their job.

  • 1 in 6.8 people 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 annually.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 two years.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

Develop your mental health at work

Learn how to build personal strategies to improve your own mental health and well-being at work as well as supporting others. Whether you are working in HR, a manager seeking guidance, or a team member wanting to improve your workplace culture – there is something in this course for you. The course shares the expertise from the Mental Health Foundation and Mental Health at Work CIC, who have worked across 62 countries delivering mental health workshops to the likes of Nandos, UNICEF, KPMG, Starbucks, and Philips.

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Mental health and wellbeing in a modern workplace


  1. Lelliott, P., Tulloch, S., Boardman, J., Harvey, S., & Henderson, H. (2008). Mental health and work. Retrieved from
  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. [Accessed 28/07/16].
  4. Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. (2009). Briefing 40: Removing Barriers. The facts about mental health and employment. Retrieved from
  5. Knapp, M., McDaid, D., & Parsonage, M. (2011). Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention: The Economic Case. Retrieved from [Accessed 02/07/16].
  6. Knapp, M., McDaid, D., & Parsonage, M. (2011). Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention: The Economic Case. Retrieved from [Accessed 02/07/16].

Our subsidiary, Mental Health at Work

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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