Up to six in 10 workers at Irish companies feel down or depressed, survey reveals

Eight in 10 employees aged under 35 agreed that they would be more likely to stay in a job if offered mental health and wellbeing initiatives. Stock image© Getty Images

Eilish O'Regan

Up to six in 10 employees in medium-to-large companies in Ireland report feeling depressed or down, according to a new survey.

The research looked at the wellbeing of more than 500 employees in medium and large organisations to determine the state of their mental health in a post-pandemic world, and how well supported they felt.

SilverCloud, the digital mental health platform, carried out the research in partnership with Opinions.ie.

It found that work was reported to have a negative impact on the mental health of three in 10 employees over the previous six months.

Younger workers wanted and expected more from their employers.

Around 73pc of employees aged under 35 agree they experience symptoms of poor mental health more frequently than they used to compared with 50pc aged over 35.

Eight in 10 employees aged under 35 agreed that they would be more likely to apply for or stay in a job if offered mental health and wellbeing initiatives.

Nine in 10 believed that employers have a responsibility to protect the mental health of their staff. And almost eight in 10 feel that their employer is responsible for promoting positive mental health in the workplace.

Within companies that currently offer a digital mental health or wellbeing solution, seven in 10 employees claimed to have availed of it when provided. Nine in 10 said the solution was beneficial to their general wellbeing and mental health.

Dr Dan Duffy, digital health scientist at SilverCloud, said: “It is evident from our research that different demographics experience mental health issues in various ways in the workplace and sometimes have different expectations of their employers as regards mental health supports.

“However, all employees across the age spectrum do expect a significant level of support and that expectation continues to increase as new generations enter the workforce.

“Investing in the wellbeing of employees is in turn an investment in the wellbeing of the business and contributes to the successful future proofing of the business.”