Almost half of employers (49%) believe mental health is the biggest health and wellbeing challenge facing businesses, research shows.
The poll from Towergate Health & Protection found the majority of organisations proactively make provisions to support the mental wellbeing of their employees.
For instance, 72% offer mental health training for staff and 76% offer access to an employee assistance programme (EAP).
However, only 10% said they felt employees valued their EAP service and only 5% said staff actually use it.
The survey found the second most pressing challenge for employers is engaging and communicating with staff about their health and wellbeing benefits, cited by 15% of companies.
For 90% of respondents, communicating benefits is the responsibility of the HR team, while only 18% use an internal marketing or communications department.
Towergate Health & Protection said that for health and wellbeing benefits to be valued and used, they need to be understood and this means having a clear communications plan which includes regular communications and using a mix of communication methods.
Brett Hill, distribution director for Towergate Health & Protection, said there is a disconnect between what employers are doing to support the mental wellbeing of their staff and what support employees are aware of.
“If companies want their work in supporting mental wellbeing to really make a difference, i.e. for employees to be aware of that help, to understand what it entails, value it, use it, and get support when they need it, communication needs to take centre stage,” he added.
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