New research by Accenture suggests that by the time they reach 30, 95% of workers in the UK will have been touched by mental health problems — either their own, or those of a friend, family member, or co-worker. These individuals are also almost twice as likely as their more senior peers to be experiencing issues with their mental health right now.
According to the findings of 2019 research, younger workers are more hesitant than their older peers to tell employers what’s going on. They also perceive more pressures in general (almost 43% more) in their lives than older workers.
Topping their list of frequent concerns is:
- Working under pressure (40% citing it as a primary recurring issue)
- Worrying about their own health (39%)
- Worrying about someone else’s health (32%)
Younger workers are also more likely than their more senior peers to be struggling with debt or to pay bills. Just 6 in 10 18–25-year-old respondents (and fewer than half of those aged 26–30) reported having received any training, information or advice about taking care of their mental health before entering the workplace.
It has been two years since the publication of the Stevenson–Farmer review which estimated that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £42 billion every year.
On a positive note, the research suggests that employers appear to be increasingly aware of the need to address mental health and willing to take action. In organisations that are getting mental health support right — where that support is an integral part of the company’s culture — Accenture findings show that workers of all ages are almost four times more likely to say that work has a positive influence on their mental health. In those same cultures, young workers were almost 37% less likely to have recent experience of a mental health problem.