Posted on: Tuesday September 18, 2018
18th September 2018 - New data from Personal Group and Health Assured show that number of calls made to Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) by UK employees seeking help for mental health related issues has increased year on year by 31% (Q1 & Q2 2017 versus Q1 & Q2 in 2018).
The data shows that mental health issues have overtaken all other areas of traditional concern for employees, including: work stress, relationships, and general health issues. This increase outpaces that of all other advice calls, with mental health support calls in the same period rising from 23% of all calls in 2017 to 36% of all calls in 2018.
Personal Group, a provider of employee services in the UK, which includes the provision of an EAP platform, has seen a 300% increase year on year for access to employee wellbeing resources via its app and platform, called Hapi. Personal Group provides EAP as part of its suite of wellbeing benefits to support employee engagement and happiness.
This data reinforces the rising mental health issues faced in the UK which, according to the Mind charity, sees one in four adults living with a diagnosable mental health condition.
Mark Scanlon, Chief Executive Officer of Personal Group commented:
“More and more employers are waking up to the fact that more must be done to improve their employees’ wellbeing. Mental Health in the workplace is no longer a taboo subject and only by providing resources and open conversation can we truly start to provide the support our employees need.
“To effectively improve wellbeing, a strategy must be put in place which considers physical, emotional as well as financial wellbeing. If an employee is suffering in one area of their life it will often manifest itself in other areas. A truly all-inclusive health and wellness programme that acknowledges and supports employees at each point of what we like to call the ‘triangle of wellbeing’, is the only way to promote meaningful employee wellbeing. “
EAPs are employee benefit programmes offering confidential support to staff when they need it most. They are used by all types of businesses, from small businesses to large multinationals, throughout all sectors.
The research also shows that employees see a greater improvement in mental health when their EAP is supported by an employee engagement platform and app, such as Hapi. PHQ-9, a standard measure of the severity of depression and response to treatment, showed the platform approach drives a 66% greater improvement in employee wellbeing than the benchmark data*; indicating the enhanced effectiveness of an EAP as part of a digitally accessed holistic wellbeing programme, as opposed to providing just as a helpline.
This trend was reflected in other standard wellbeing measures such as the GAD7 (used as a severity measure for generalised anxiety disorder), which showed a 33% additional improvement compared to the benchmark figure. The Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS) figures (psychometrically validated tools designed to measure the workplace effects of EAP) also corroborated the shift, with employees who also had access to Personal Group’s holistic platform being 20% more likely to return to work than the benchmark data.
*All benchmark statistics are based on over 100,000 employee interactions with Health Assured’s EAP over a 6-month period in 2017 and over 150,000 employee interactions in the first half of 2018.