85% of global workers expect employers to address mental health, survey finds

As the Great Resignation continues to disrupt the global economy, Pearson has released new public opinion research showing that people around the world want more prioritisation of mental health and wellbeing in their workplace.

The latest Pearson Global Learner Survey, a poll of 5,000 people in five countries, found that 85% globally (82% in UK) expect their employers to address the mental health and wellbeing of employees. Even with that expectation, a full one-third of respondents (32% globally/35% in UK) say their employers have not taken any action to address mental health and wellbeing.

The survey found that workers want:

  • A set amount of mental health days off from work (85% globally, 76% in the UK)
  • Free mental health services (87% globally, 80% in the UK)
  • Access to wellness resources, including helpline numbers, research, clinic locations, and online therapy options (81% globally and in the UK)

Among the actions people say their employers are already taking to address wellness or mental health among employees:

  • Sharing mental health resources with employees (e.g., tips, information, helpline numbers, research, clinic locations, online therapy options, etc.) (24% globally, 22% in UK)
  • Providing free mental health services to employees/staff (25% globally, 24% in UK)
  • Enhancing or expanding employee assistance programs (21% globally, 17% in UK)
  • Providing free or discounted services from wellness service partners, such as Headspace or Calm (18% globally, 15% in UK)

In the tightest talent market in recent history, mental health resources make a difference for job seekers.

  • 90% globally (89% in the UK) think more highly of employers who actively address employee mental health and wellbeing issues.
  • When considering their next job, 86% globally (77% in the UK) consider employee mental health and wellness benefits for themselves and their family to be important considerations.

“Work is where many of us spend much of our time. Employees are demanding more attention from employers to address the impact of the mental health crisis that has been exacerbated over the last two and a half years,” said Kevin Lyons, Senior HR Manager at Pearson in the UK.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, and we get accustomed to new ways of working, organisations will need to be strategic and innovative in incorporating wellness and wellbeing into their offerings to stay competitive and serve their workforces” Lyons continued.

Among other findings of the survey:

  • Of the UK respondents, 22% said their job negatively affects their mental health, with 18% saying it positively affects them (60% said it had no impact).
  • The vast majority believe in training more people in the field of mental health care. 90% globally (87% in UK) agree it is important to train more people in the field of mental health.

This poll was conducted by Morning Consult from April 13 to April 18, 2022, among a total sample of 5,008 respondents between the ages of 16 to 70 years old in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, India, and China.