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Half of UK workers hiding mental health problems from colleagues 

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Workers are feeling pressurised to hide their mental health problems from their colleagues despite feeling like they’re not coping at work, new research reveals.

Just over half (51 per cent) of people surveyed said they felt under pressure to put on a brave face in front of their co-workers, while a quarter are worried about having to be the best version of themselves when they return to the workplace, after lockdown restrictions were lifted.

The government has been urging businesses to ramp up a return to offices over the summer, with chancellor Rishi Sunak telling Linkedin News this week it was “really beneficial” to be in an office at the start of his career.

However, the survey of 2,000 people on behalf of Lime Insurance, revealed people are struggling.

Just over a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents said they didn’t think they were coping at work, and over a third (34 per cent) felt the same way about everyday life.

Four in 10 (40 per cent) said they felt less resilient now than they did before the pandemic.

Only 16 per cent of respondents felt their mental health was very well supported at work, despite 81 per cent wanting their employers to support their mental wellbeing.

Some 42 per cent said they expected their employer to do more – and 40 per cent even admitted that they would look for a new job if their employer didn’t do so.

Shaun Williams, chief executive and founder of Lime Global, said: The past 18 months has had a huge impact on people’s lives, including on their mental health and resilience. The long-term repercussions of the pandemic are likely to be felt for years to come, and it’s important we act now to be aware of and prioritise both our own mental health and that of those around us.”

Young people are bearing the brunt of these challenges, with 43 per cent of women and 49 per cent of young men aged 16-24 feeling less resilient now than they did before the pandemic.

In addition, 56 per cent of women feel like they have to put on a brave face for their colleagues – compared to 45 per cent of men.