Mental health discrimination tops all other forms of workplace discrimination

09 October 2019

On World Mental Health day, Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company today reveals that discrimination against employees suffering from a mental health condition is more prevalent than any other form of workplace discrimination around the world.

An analysis of Kantar’s new Inclusion Index which surveyed 18,000 employees in 14 countries reveals that globally more than 1 in 3 employees (38%) face significant mental health concerns including a diagnosed mental health condition or stress. Additionally, 29% of global employees report suffering from ‘loss of stamina’ or ‘overwhelming fatigue’ – a common early symptom of mental wellbeing concerns. More than one third (38%) of all those reporting some kind of mental health concern also report feeling discriminated against based on their condition – making them the most discriminated against community in the global work force.

More positively, awareness of mental health conditions is growing in the workplace. 59% of employees surveyed say they trust their employer sufficiently to discuss their mental health challenges at work. There is more work to be done to support those with a mental health condition however, as 51% described the support they receive from their workplace as insufficient.

Kantar’s Inclusion Index also underlines the importance of heightening awareness and support of young people struggling with mental health issues around the world, with 28%   young men reporting mental health concerns, but more significantly, 42% of young women identifying as having a mental health condition. Our research also identifies an emerging concern for women between the ages of 35-54 which is 6% points above the average (44%). Our study also finds the gender-neutral community struggling with mental health (43%).

Mandy Rico, Global Director of Inclusion Index, commented “As people-driven organisations we all have a duty of care to employees in our workplaces. Improving the stigma around mental health, ensuring individuals feel they can reach out in times of need, and providing the right mental health support in ways that matter are no exception to this. The Inclusion Index has been created to provide a starting point to help employers better understand the scale and scope of the cultural challenges their organisations are dealing with.”

Kantar Inclusion Index launched in September 2019. Built on 18,000 employee responses in 14 countries, the Inclusion Index creates a benchmarking and change management tool to help companies move ‘inclusion and diversity’ conversation from ‘counting heads’ to ‘making each head count’.