Over a third of us are struggling with anxiety and depression at work

And we need to talk about it

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

This year, celebrities like Britney Spears, Zayn Malik and Prince Harry have been talking publicly about their personal struggles in order to fight the stigma around mental health. It’s believed that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, so why are we still so reluctant to address our struggles in the workplace?

According to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, over a third of us deal with anxiety, depression or stress while at work.

The management consultancy firm asked 2,000 British workers in both junior and senior roles to answer questions about their mental health. They found that 34% of the participants admitted to feeling anxious, depressed and stressed in the office, with one in six of us affected by mental health issues on a weekly basis.

The researchers suggest that this is due to a an increase in pressure to be constantly ‘switched on’, with smartphones allowing us to reply to texts, emails and calls even when we’ve left the desk for the day. This creates a grey area between our work and personal lives whereby individuals feel they aren’t truly finished working, and as though there is no real escape from their workload.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of those involved in the survey admitted that they didn’t feel their company took employees’ wellbeing seriously.

The survey also found that 2 in 5 people have had to take time off work due to mental health issues, and of those 39% were unable to tell their managers why they needed a break – proving that we still have a long way to go when it comes to discussing these matters openly with both our peers and bosses.

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