Eating Disorder Week: 8% of British Employees Struggle to Handle Eating Disorders at Work

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Mental health is impacting our ability to function at work, new research has revealed.

The study, which was conducted by Salary Finance, a salary-linked employee benefits provider that partners with employers to deliver financial well-being for staff, found that almost three quarters (72%) of Brits have experienced mental health issues at some point in the past.

Eating Disorder Week 8% of British Employees Struggle to Handle Eating Disorders at Work eat

The top 10 issues Brits were struggling with in 2018 include:

  1. Anxiety (38%)
  2. Stress (35%)
  3. Depression (31%)
  4. Sleep deprivation (24%)
  5. Loneliness (16%)
  6. Panic attacks (15%)
  7. Self-esteem (14%)
  8. Eating disorder (8%)
  9. Paranoia (7%)
  10. OCD (6%)

Eating Disorder Week 8% of British Employees Struggle to Handle Eating Disorders at Work 1

Based on the survey, 8% of British employees struggled with eating disorders last year. The gender split was 11.4% of women and 3.3% of men, and 18-34s were the age group that struggled the most. Employees based in Edinburgh, followed by Cardiff, Norwich, Leeds and Sheffield, were most likely to have dealt with disordered eating last year.

The job sectors most likely to have suffered from eating disorders last year include:

  • Hospitality and events management
  • Leisure, sports and tourism
  • Healthcare
  • Environment and agriculture
  • Retail

One of the respondents, a woman from Manchester, stated that she was “not able to eat in front of people due to social anxiety”, which affected her at lunchtime at work.

Eating Disorder Week 8% of British Employees Struggle to Handle Eating Disorders at Work map

Gin Lalli, an Edinburgh-based psychotherapist, commented on the topic: “Allowing employees to take time off to visit a mental health specialist, just as you would see a GP for a cold, should be a priority for businesses. I see a lot of professionals who can’t talk openly at work, and it is creating even more stress for themselves and their employers.”

Asesh Sarkar, CEO and co-founder at Salary Finance said: “Being open about mental health in the workplace is important. While there are many positives to be taken from our research, it also shows that we still have a way to go. For example, people feel more comfortable talking about having stomach upsets than mental health – illustrating there still is a stigma attached.

“Mental health in the workplace is not an issue designated to one type of person – it is prevalent across all demographics, as well as job sector and job levels. Enabling and supporting employees in their personal lives makes them happier at work, so businesses of all sizes should make mental health in the workplace a priority”.

More information can be found here: salaryfinance.com/blog

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