Mental health charity Mind have published a report surveying over 12,000 employees across the public and private sectors reporting a higher prevalence of mental health problems and a lack of available support in the public sector.
Mind’s survey found that public sector workers were over a third more likely to say their mental health was poor than their peers in the private sector and far more likely to say they have felt anxious at work on several occasions over the last month.
The impact on the sector is significant. Public sector survey respondents said that, on average, they had taken nearly three days off sick in the last year because of their mental health, compared to just under one day on average for workers in the private sector.
Less than half (49%) of people said they felt supported when they disclosed mental health problems, compared with three in five (61%) in the private sector.
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… By promoting wellbeing for all staff, tackling the causes of work-related mental health problems and supporting staff who are experiencing mental health problems, organisations can help keep people at work and create mentally healthy workplaces where people are supported to perform at their best”.