While experiencing an emotional breakthrough, the mature adult man covers his face and reaches out to his young friend.
The rising number of UK employees needing time away from work due to mental health concerns has sparked alarm, with a charity warning that the nation could be heading towards widespread burnout, The Guardian reported.
Mental Health UK’s chief, Brian Dow, has highlighted the role of global issues like climate change and the rise of artificial intelligence in exacerbating feelings of despair and contributing to mental fatigue.
The revelation emerged from a survey indicating that over one-third of adults experienced intense pressure at their workplaces in the past year.
A YouGov survey of 2,060 adults, of whom 1,132 were employed, found that 35% reported experiencing high or extreme pressure at work.
Additionally, it was found that 20% had taken leave in the past year due to stress-induced poor mental health.
Dow expressed concern over the UK’s trajectory towards becoming a “burnt-out nation,” attributing this trend to the complex causes of work-related mental health issues.
He noted that while public perceptions of mental health at work have evolved, especially following the pandemic, external factors like the cost-of-living crisis and global challenges add to the stress, anxiety, and a sense of hopelessness.
The charity’s call for government intervention includes a proposed national dialogue on the matter.
Deidre Bowen, director of national programmes at Mental Health UK, shared her personal experience with burnout, underscoring the need for employer initiatives to prevent such outcomes.
Mental Health UK has urged prime minister Rishi Sunak to convene a national summit to foster healthier workplaces and offer better support to employees.
This call aligns with the government’s commitment to mental health, as a spokesperson highlighted a £2.3 billion investment in mental health services and an initiative to aid those with long-term health conditions in rejoining the workforce.
The survey also revealed that 35% of respondents felt uneasy discussing stress with their superiors, and 31% attributed their stress to workplace bullying and intimidation.
Furthermore, nearly half of the workers indicated their employers lacked strategies to identify and address chronic stress.