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Employees Report Increase in Suicidal Thoughts, Reveals New Report

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A study of 4,170 employees has revealed that the number of professionals experiencing moderate to high levels of stress has increased, affecting 76% of our workforce, a year-on-year increase of 13%. Worryingly, workers experiencing suicidal thoughts have also increased from 8% to 9%. 

Data released today by global workplace wellbeing provider Champion Health gives an insight into the health and well-being of the working population between January 2022 and October 2022.

Financial worries are reported as the leading cause of stress outside of work, cited by 37%, a 23% increase on last year’s report whilst perceived workload features as the highest cause of stress in work (73%).

The data, which has been published in Champion Health’s annual report also revealed that:

  • 60% of employees feel anxious with 56% experiencing low mood.
  • Females are 22% more likely to feel anxious (65% female compared to 53% male).
  • Younger workers are most likely to experience anxiety and depression (67% of 16–24-year-olds experience symptoms of anxiety with 61% reporting symptoms of depression and 66% of 25–34-year-olds reporting symptoms of anxiety and 60% claiming symptoms of depression).
  • Poor mental health negatively affects the performance of 1 in 5 employees.
  • 81% say that they feel tired and 71% rate their sleep as “average” or “worse”.
  • Over 50% of employees rate their productivity as “average”, “below average”, or “low” with 61% reporting tiredness impacts productivity
  • The survey showed that people feel most energised to work at 10:21am and are least energised at 3:31 pm. 

In addition, team culture and feeling supported at work positively correlates with mental wellbeing and productivity. Those who report “feeling part of a team” experience greater positive mental well-being and feel more productive.

While the findings point to a decline in our workers’ health, it’s not all doom and gloom as 98% of employees feel motivated to improve their well-being. 42% cite they’d like to boost their energy levels, closely followed by 41% reporting they’d like to lose weight. When asked what the barriers are to making health changes, 47% report willpower as the biggest barrier followed by 43% stating they face a lack of time.

Harry Bliss, CEO and co-founder of Champion Health, says that while the findings are worrying there is a positive in the number of employees reporting they feel motivated to improve their well-being and that business leaders have an opportunity to improve workplace culture and support employees to thrive.

Bliss comments: “It’s no surprise that the last few years have been extremely tough on employees, and I’m really concerned about the findings of this report. The fact that workers experiencing suicidal thoughts has increased is terrifying; whilst a 1% increase from last year to 9% may seem low on the face of it, it isn’t, this means that in a workforce of 1,000 staff, 90 will be having thoughts about taking their own lives which could have a devastating impact.

“Leaders need to step up and support their workforce, it is not only the moral thing to do but this research shows poor mental health, stress, and fatigue is increasingly affecting productivity, so it is also within the best interests of businesses.

“Companies can help turn this dangerous pattern around by making employee wellbeing a priority, and doing so goes beyond having much happier employees. It will enable employers to retain great people who are motivated to complete brilliant work, day in, day out.”

Champion Health’s solutions were developed by world-leading academics, GPs, and technology professionals. Through a team of over 100 professionals and academics, the company is proud to have improved health and wellbeing outcomes across the UK and works with companies including Currys, Rabobank, and the NHS.

The Workplace Health Report: 2023 was developed by the Champion Health team with 35 contributors including global heads of HR, suicide prevention specialists and mental health first aiders.

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