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1 in 3 Young Workers Experience Mental Health Conditions

Mental health services  are hopelessly oversubscribed, especially for young people, and employers are  unable or unwilling to bridge the gap says GMB Union

GMB young members are demanding  radical action from the Government and employers after a shock study revealed  one in three young workers experience mental health  conditions.

On World Mental Health day, the  union urges the Government to introduce new primary legislation – a ‘Mental  Health at Work Act’ – to force employers to properly address workplace mental  health problems.

The call comes as a shocking new  report reveals 60% of employees have experienced mental problems in the past  year due to work. [1]

The focus of this year’s World  Mental Health Day – which takes place today – is mental health in the  workplace.

The Mental Health at Work Report  2018: Seizing the Opportunity, published by Business in the Community,  highlighted that the workplace is not only unsupportive of employees with mental  health problems, but that work is often a key contributing factor to poor mental  health.

This is particularly true for  young workers, who are most likely to experience poor mental health at  work.

The report, based on surveying  work carried out by YouGov, found that:

  • 61%  of employees have experienced mental health issues due to work or where work was  a related factor 
  • 37%  of 18-29 year olds have been diagnosed with a mental health issue, higher than  any other age group 
  • 64%  of managers have had to put the interests of their organisation above staff  welfare at some point 
  • 11% of respondents who disclosed  a mental health issue subsequently faced disciplinary action, demotion or  dismissal – even though their mental health condition may be covered by the  Equality Act 2010. 

Ruth Pitchford, Chair of  GMB Young Members, said:

“Times are getting harder for  everyone, and the world is getting more uncertain.

“Young people like me are  entering the world of work facing a reality of low pay, insecure work, student  debt and no prospect of owning their own property, let alone living in social  housing.

“It is no wonder that mental  health issues are on the increase, yet the Government has done nothing to tackle  these issues at all.
“Mental health services are hopelessly  oversubscribed, especially for young people, and employers are unable or  unwilling to bridge the gap.

“We need a Mental Health at Work  Act so that all employers know their responsibilities; housing policy that  provides affordable housing for the many; and employment rights and wages that  guarantee good work for all. We need concrete action and we need it  now.” 

[1] The BiTC report is available  at:

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