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One in four admits leaving a job due to mental ill-health, survey finds

One-in-four employees has left a job because of mental health issues, according to an online survey by charity St John Ambulance.

One in four admits leaving a job due to mental ill-health, survey finds

Nearly two thirds also admitted that they would feel uncomfortable asking for a mental health sick day and more than a quarter said bosses did little or nothing to provide support. Six out of ten surveyed said they felt their employer should be doing more to support employees with mental health issues.

The survey of 1,000 employees who mainly work in human resources and administration revealed also that a further 43% had considered leaving a job due to stress or mental health issues. 

Respondents cited embarrassment as the top reason why they would not ask for a mental health sick day, followed by not liking to take time off work and not wanting to let colleagues down. Comments ranged from “I would feel judged as they wouldn’t understand”, and “I would not get paid”.

St John Ambulance conducted the survey in August, which was sent to employees on its database. Most of those surveyed work in human resources and administration and are responsible for booking first aid courses with the charity.

Debbie Adwent, operations manager for St John’s Ambulance, said: “We believe these results reflect the experiences of the wider workforce and urge employers to take the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce seriously.”

In a separate online survey, which was carried out in September and which sampled 800 employees who had attended St John Ambulance’s general first aid courses, 94% said their organisations should have a mental health policy in place.

Last year St John Ambulance joined forces with Mental Health First Aid England to provide mental health courses to raise awareness of mental ill-health. The charity is hosting its first national summit on mental health best practice in the workplace in December.




Wendy Smith is web editor of IOSH Magazine


  • So the St John Ambulance who

    Permalink Submitted by Jeremy Rowland on 12 October 2018 - 03:21 pm

    So the St John Ambulance who are providing courses for First Aiders at work are flogging their course for all its worth? Once again business is being expected to pick up the bill for what in reality is nothing to do with them; from experience I have seen at least two people employed by my current employer who in my opinion should been sectioned and not given help from a glorified works shrink but locked up in a mental institute. I am not saying that all people who have mental issues should be locked up but they should be treated by the NHS for whatever issues they have and not their employer. Some issues people suffer are more likely linked to stress and that could be from work or from outside, so long as the business concerned have carried out their stress risk assessment with sincerity and make allowances where required to relieve stress both at home and at work then they have fulfilled their obligation. From what I see of this mental health awareness it's little more than jobs for the boys; the PC brigade have turned the world upside down we never hit the middle mark but always go from one extreme to the other without ever hitting the middle line.

  • Woo that's a bit harsh Jeremy

    Permalink Submitted by Shaune Hook on 15 October 2018 - 08:23 am

    Woo that's a bit harsh Jeremy, admittedly I do not know the full facts and nor should I presume but mental health WILL become an issue in the future on a larger scale. I to have issues and the article I have just read is more or less the way I think. You cant always see someone's ailment / sickness much the same as you can't always see someone's disability my friend..

  • Was there ever a clearer

    Permalink Submitted by Fiona Cameron (The Health and Safety Lady) on 20 October 2018 - 09:20 am

    Was there ever a clearer demonstration of the prevailing intolerance and misunderstanding of mental health issues than the contribution by Jeremy Rowland here. His attitude is typical of those who have not experienced the effects of mental ill-health first hand. Those who have realise that it is as real as cancer or a broken leg and that, just like these physical manifestations of ill-health, mental ill-health needs expert treatment and time to heal. Those who have not seen or experienced it for themselves tend to think that people with mental health issues should "man-up" and "pull themselves together". But when we accept that the brain can malfunction and be affected by disease or chemical imbalance, just like any other organ in the body and you know that it controls everything we see, hear, interpret, imagine or understand, then follows that mental health issues are real, and that the symptoms they produce are real too. Therefore the treatment they receive should also be real - as should be the levels of tolerance, understanding and sympathy sufferers receive. And by the way, if, as we are told, one in four of the total population will suffer from mental health issues at some time in their life - that's an awful lot of "mental institutes" and a terrible lot of "locking up" we're headed for.

  • I am staggered by the

    Permalink Submitted by Andrew Ledger on 24 October 2018 - 03:02 pm

    I am staggered by the Dickensian attitude shown by Jeremy Rowland, but unfortunately this is representative of the current workplace for many. We have the 'First Aid Regs' to ensure physical injury is catered for, yet so far no particularly onerous expectations for mental health. Should we expect staff to be just a number that we patch up and set back to work or dispose of when broken? If an employee has or has not contributed to an illness, whether physical or mental surely there is a moral duty to care for that employee aside from anything else. The loyalty shown to that person in their time of need may just be returned in the employers time of need!

  • Occupational stress or

    Permalink Submitted by Andy on 2 November 2018 - 05:38 pm

    Occupational stress or organisational stress are the major cause for spoilers in Middle East Asia (Gulf region). Employees are always under Stress. Many organisation recruit employees from South Asian countries and mentally torture the employees, disturbing mental Health.


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