Laura Sharman 02 June 2017

Half of public sector workers take time off due to poor mental health

Half of public sector workers take time off due to poor mental health image

Nearly half of public sector workers have taken time off work due to mental health problems, compared to 32% of private sector staff, a new survey has revealed.

A survey of 12,000 employers by health charity Mind found mental health problems were more common in the public sector, with 15% saying their mental health was poor.

On average, public sector staff took three days off sick last year because of their mental health, compared to just under one day in the private sector.

The survey also revealed that while public sector staff were more likely than those in the private sector to disclose that they have a mental health problem, less than half said they felt supported as a result.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: ‘A vital part of changing the lives of people with mental health problems is to tackle the culture of fear and silence in the workplace that stops people opening up about what they are experiencing. This data shows that the public sector in particular is making progress here. But it’s also vital that when people do speak out they get the right help and support at the right time.

‘It’s clear there is still a long way to go in both the public and private sector to address the gap between people asking for support and actually getting what they need.’

The charity is calling on the next government to make mental health in the workplace a key priority.

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