Mental health higher priority than physical health

UK workers now place greater importance on their mental health than their physical health.

Released to coincide with World Mental Health Day 2019, the data from Unmind found that 65 per cent of workers consider their mental health to be very important, compared to 44 per cent considering their physical health to be of equal importance.

Compiled in partnership with YouGov, the study examines awareness and tracking of mental health in the workplace. It is said that mental health still costs British companies £34.9 billion annually, working out as an average of £1,300 per worker. However, the new research shows that workers are starting to appreciate the importance of effective mental health management, and that after decades of stigma, the conversation around mental health is positively changing.

Nearly one in five UK workers now actively track their mental health, with women putting a slightly greater importance on their mental health compared to physical health (54 per cent), and that working women are more likely to track their mental and physical health (22 per cent and 53 per cent), than men (14 per cent and 47 per cent respectively).

Nick Taylor, co-founder of Unmind, said: “Our mental health is one of the most incredible things about being human, and a healthy mind is an influential factor in fulfilling our potential. As the workplace evolves, employers increasingly want people to bring their authentic selves to work and contribute with their personalities, experience and instincts, as much as their skill set. For that to happen, it is essential that organisations look after not only the employee, but the whole person, and that includes mental wellbeing inside and outside of the workplace.
 
“By tracking our mental health, we can begin to appreciate which areas of our life are going well and which areas we may need to give greater attention to. This is what being proactive means. When we feel our mental health is thriving it positively impacts all other areas of our life, and means we’re in a strong position to contribute fully to the world around us. Ultimately, when this happens, everyone benefits- including the organisations we work for.”