While over 8 out of 10 employees (81.9%) would feel comfortable asking their supervisor for time off for a physical medical issue, just 16.9% would feel comfortable requesting time off for a mental health issue. That’s among the significant findings of a recent survey by TAO Connect, which explore the current state of mental health among working adults and the perceptions within their offices.
While a startling number (85%) of employees surveyed said they felt overwhelmed, extremely down or experiencing negative feelings that interfered with their ability to work, according to the survey, an even larger majority (96%) of respondents agreed that there is a stigma around mental health in the workplace.
The survey inquired about reasons why people dealing with work-related stress don’t seek help by visiting a mental health professional. The survey found that 59% had actually experienced a struggle with mental health in the workplace, but did not see a mental health professional to talk about it. Why? About half of respondents (49%) feared their supervisor would judge them or treat them differently for needing time off for therapy, according to the survey. Other reasons cited for not going to see a health counselor are the expense (by 50% of respondents) and time (e.g., it didn’t fit in with their schedule) involved (40%) .
“While our results are troubling, they’re not entirely surprising,” said Sherry Benton, founder of TAO Connect, Inc., a digital platform aimed at making mental health therapy more accessible, efficient and effective, in a press release. “The pressures and stresses of everyday work are only increasing amongst employees, yet most people feel uncomfortable seeking help for mental health issues. Many working adults not only fear judgement amongst peers and managers, but they also can’t find a way to make traditional therapy work with their life.”
More information on the survey is available from TAO Connect.