A new survey by Cigna, a provider of health benefits and services across Europe, has found that unmanageable stress is the UK’s number one wellbeing issue. The 2018 Cigna 360° Well-Being Survey found that 80 per cent of people are experiencing stress, 20 per cent of whom say that it is ‘unmanageable’. According to the research, the UK ranks fifth worst for unmanageable stress in the world, behind only the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Korea.
Work was found to be the UK’s leading cause of stress, with 26 per cent of stress sufferers reporting work as the reason. In addition, the survey found that the UK trails behind other Western markets when it comes to workplace wellbeing programmes, with only nine per cent of employees saying that they have a work wellbeing programme and that they use it. This is compared to 22 per cent of employees globally reporting that they use a workplace wellbeing programme.
Cigna also found that workplace wellbeing programmes are in demand, with 29 per cent of employees rating stress management as the second most desired healthcare benefit in the UK, after dental benefits (32 per cent). Although 84 per cent of people have suffered a mental health condition at some point in their lives, only one-quarter of them received support from their employer.
“It’s clear employers have an important role to play in mental health. Our research shows that despite people wanting more help, the UK is lagging behind comparable countries in offering workplace wellbeing support. But the good news is that employers are beginning to recognise the cost of poor mental health at work and the impact this can have on their employees and business,” said Phil Austin, CEO Europe at Cigna. “Cigna is helping employers tackle this prevailing issue. We were first in the UK to launch a self-referral pathway for fast access to emotional wellbeing support and early intervention care. Our proactive approach helps employers move towards an emotionally supportive culture in the workplace.”