‘Time to Talk Day’ encourages conversations about mental health

A survey conducted by Censuswide as part of today’s Time to Talk Day, the nation’s biggest conversation about mental health, run by mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, has unearthed key insights into the state of employee mental wellbeing.

The poll of 5,012 general respondents across the UK found that seven in 10 employees (67% full-time and 69% part-time) feel the need to put a brave face on things when asked about their mental health.

Half (47% full-time and 54% part-time) report that the reason is because bigger things are going on in the world right now and they don’t wish to be a burden, whilst a quarter of full-time employees (27%) and a third of part-time employees (35%) don’t believe that people really want to know how they are.

A quarter (26% full-time and 27% part-time) say they fear being judged if they open up. As a result, they are feeling withdrawn, isolated and less able to socialise.

The biggest impact on employee mental health is the cost-of-living crisis, with 52% of full-time employees and 59% of part-time employees saying it is affecting them, but work also plays a role, causing mental health challenges for 40% of full-time workers and 30% of part-time.

When asked how they are, the phrase ‘Good thanks, and you?’ is often wheeled out to deflect by 35% of full-time employees and 38% of part-time employees, with ‘Fine, thanks’ a popular choice for 28% of full-time employees and 37% part-time.

Half of employees (46% full-time and 48% part-time) believe that mental health is a taboo subject, demonstrating the need for employee wellbeing schemes to help normalise speaking about mental health, and opportunities for employees to open up, like Time to Talk Day.

Dr Sarah Hughes, chief executive of Mind, said: “Our survey highlights that too often, we put a brave face on and tell people we’re fine when we’re not because we’re worried about being a burden during difficult times.

“But bottling things up is only making things worse. Talking about our mental health can help us feel less alone, more able to cope, and encouraged to seek support if we need to. Have a conversation this Time to Talk Day.”

Time to Talk Day 2024 is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in England, See Me with SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) in Scotland, Inspire and Change Your Mind in Northern Ireland and Time to Change Wales in Wales.

It is being delivered in partnership with Co-op. The partners are supporting communities across the UK to encourage mental health conversations by providing free resources, including tips on how to have the conversation, and running a UK-wide awareness campaign. This year will mark 10 years of Time to Talk Day.

Find out more at www.timetotalkday.co.uk and follow the conversation on social media with #TimeToTalk.

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