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More than a quarter (28%) of UK employees believe there is less stigma associated with mental health issues in the workplace than a year ago, according to new research by Aviva.
According to the insurer, an increase in awareness and understanding of mental health issues at work mirrors the steady increase in the numbers of UK employees claiming for psychiatric disorders on both income protection and private medical insurance policies. In 2011, conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety were the biggest cause for claim on Aviva’s Income Protection Solutions cover for both individual and corporate customers, with almost a third (28%) of both men and women claiming for such conditions.
However, while employees are generally feeling less stigma in the workplace, a third (35%) still feel that mental health remains a ‘taboo’ subject that is seldom talked about. Over half of employees (56%) think that physical illness will always carry less stigma than mental health.
The Aviva research also reveals that employers are now much more aware of the extent to which their workforce is affected by mental health problems. Encouragingly, the number one health initiative that employers would like to implement is more support for employees with mental health issues (34%).