Programs no substitute for open discussion about mental health

Workplace mental health resources are going widely unused due to fears that it could damage an employees' career.

Resources and programs are no substitute for open discussion about mental health at work, a new Berlin Cameron and Kantar study has found. 

The study, released on World Mental Health Day has found that 69 percent of respondents have not utilized their company’s mental health and wellness services in any capacity, although 53 percent of respondents aged 25 to 64 agree that their mental health and wellness is directly impacted by their workplace.

Jennifer DaSilva, President, Berlin Cameron said: "As an agency that is trying to create cultural change, our goal is to foster open dialogue about mental health within the industry, an issue that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough."

"Our research with Kantar reveals that even though companies are taking steps to ensure health and wellness, those resources may not be enough. So, as leaders, we have to set an example," she added. 

According to the study what does help is having a leadership that actively listens to employees and is open about mental health issues, with more than 60 percent of employees agreeing that they would feel more comfortable with open-minded leaders -- something that DaSilva stressed. 

"If we can show vulnerability and be real about our own highs and lows, our teams will feel like they can show their authentic selves, too."

Luckily, co-workers have propped each other up through tough times, with 70 percent responding that they had helped a coworker through a tough time, and 53 percent in the 25 to 44 bracket stating that they had opened up to another employee about their issues. 

Still, mental health is a discussion that needs to be normalized so that 40 percent of respondents don’t feel that seeking help in the workplace for a mental health condition could damage their career. 

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