World Mental Health Day: Why Mental Health At Work Matters

To coincide with World Mental Health Day, an international day for global mental health education, here is a global roundup of statistics about mental health in the workplace.
  • 38% of adults report symptoms of anxiety disorder, an increase of 27% since 2019, and 41% of employees regularly feel stressed, burned out, or depressed at work.
  • Many businesses are introducing wellness support and programs for workers to help combat these worrying statistics, particularly as business owners recognize the important role that mental health plays in wellbeing and performance.
  • To coincide with World Mental Health Day, an international day for global mental health education, here is a global roundup of statistics about mental health in the workplace.

World Mental Health Day was celebrated this past Saturday, October 10th. 

World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. The first World Mental Health Day was celebrated in 1992 and it was an initiative by the World Federation for Mental Health. 

Over the past few years, businesses across the world have started to recognize the important role that mental health plays in employee wellbeing and company performance. As a result, many organizations have started to introduce mental health benefits and programs for employees. 

Most recently in the United States, President Trump signed an executive order calling for increased support for mental health and behavior health needs. The executive order recognizes the lasting impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the mental health of Americans. 

To celebrate World Mental Health and to help raise awareness about the importance of mental health in the workforce, we’ve compiled some key facts and statistics about mental health in the workplace. 

Mental Health in the Workplace: Key Facts and Figures

Mental Health in the Workplace: 28 Key Facts and Figures Click To Tweet
  • Data shows that the cost of unwell workers represents 10 to 15% of global economic output. (Virgin Pulse
  • In the US, an unhealthy workforce costs $2.2 trillion a year. (Virgin Pulse
  • Poor mental health among employees costs UK employers £42bn – £45bn each year. (Deloitte
  • 2 in 3 employers say a mental health crisis in the U.S. will come within three years. (MetLife
  • 5.5 million employees no longer feel mentally healthy, a drop of 7% since April 2020. (MetLife
  • Workers increasingly report feeling stressed, this was happening even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. 96% of survey respondents stated that COVID-19 was affecting their stress levels. (Ginger)
  • 38% of adults report symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder, an increase of 27% since 2019. (MetLife)
  • Of employed workers, 42% say their stress levels are currently high or very high. (FlexJobs)
  • 41% of employees feel stressed, burned out, or depressed at work regularly. (MetLife
  • 30% of employees say they “feel burned out” at work, but 64% of employees report feeling at least five of the signs of burnout as defined by the World Health Organization. (MetLife
  • 17% of employees say they “feel depressed” at work, but 41% of employees report feeling at least five of the signs of depression as defined by the Patient Health Questionnaire screening tool. (MetLife
  • 76% of respondents agree that workplace stress affects their mental health, leading to depression or anxiety. (FlexJobs)
  • Only 26% of employees report having to seek help for a mental health issue, including stress and burnout, at any time in the past. (MetLife)
  • Prior to the pandemic, Ginger found that two thirds of employees missed at least one day of work due to stress in the past year, and 35% of workers missed 4+ days. (Ginger)
  • Since COVID-19, two thirds of employees miss an hour or more of work every day due to mental health issues. (Ginger)
  • 21% of workers lost up to two hours of work time a day because of stress. (Headspace
  • Before COVID-19, 80% of employees believed that their employers could do more to support their mental health. (Ginger)
  • 81% of high-income employees reported having mental health benefits compared to 38% of the lowest income bracket. (Ginger)
  • 88% of employees appreciate when their leadership discusses mental health, but that only 35% of employees said that leadership at their company actually does talk about it. (Ginger)
  • 60% of workers who have access to a wellbeing program are inspired by their company to make healthy choices. (Virgin Pulse
  • Eight in 10 HR leaders say that employee health and wellbeing is a critical component of their business strategy. (Virgin Pulse
  • About 71% of employers expect to take steps to improve employees’ emotional wellbeing over the next three years. (Virgin Pulse
  • 44% of workers don’t feel employee mental health is a priority at their organization. (Headspace)
  • 53% of workers feel mental health benefits are essential post-COVID-19. (Headspace)
  • Only 12% of workers think their employer has a holistic mental health program. (Headspace)
  • Only 49% of employees felt comfortable talking to their line manager about their mental health. (Deloitte
  • 86% of employees who rate their mental health as good are productive, vs. 60% of those who do not. (MetLife)
  • 79% of employees who rate their mental health as good are engaged, vs. 47% of those who do not. (MetLife)

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