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Public sector workers take more time off due to mental ill health

Almost half of all public sector workers have taken time off work because of mental health problems, a large new survey has found.

Almost half of public sector workers have taken time off work because of mental health problems, a large new survey has found.

Mental health charity Mind said its research revealed a higher prevalence of mental health problems in public sector workers, as well as a lack of support available when people do speak up.

The poll of more than 12,000 workers from across the UK almost half of whom were from the public sector found that 48% of public sector employees have had time off because of mental health issues, compared with 32% of those in the private sector.

On average, public sector workers took nearly three days off sick per person in the past year because of mental ill health,

Almost half of public sector workers have taken time off work because of mental health problems, a large new survey has found.


The poll found that 48% of all public sector employees have had time off because of mental health issues. Picture: iStock

Mental health charity Mind said its research revealed a higher prevalence of mental health problems in public sector workers, as well as a lack of support available when people do speak up.

The poll of more than 12,000 workers from across the UK – almost half of whom were from the public sector – found that 48% of public sector employees have had time off because of mental health issues, compared with 32% of those in the private sector.

On average, public sector workers took nearly three days off sick per person in the past year because of mental ill health, compared with just under a day for private sector workers.

Some 15% of those working in the public sector claim to have poor mental health, compared with 9% from the private sector.

Disclosure

Of those with a mental health problem, more workers from the public sector than the private sector felt able to open up about it to their employer. But less than half (49%) said they felt supported when they disclosed mental health issues, compared with 61% in the private sector.

Mind chief executive Paul Farmer 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.

'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.

'By promoting well-being 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.'


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