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Mental health not a cultural priority for finance firms despite virus woes

by LLB Editor
2nd Jun 21 12:10 pm

Koa Health, a digital mental healthcare provider offering integrated and evidence-based solutions to employers, today shares data exposing the impact of COVID-19 on mental health in the finance industry across the UK and organisations’ response to the crisis. 

According to a survey of over 500 HR Managers in companies of 250+ employees, at the onset of COVID-19, almost nine in ten (86%) organisations in the UK finance industry experienced an increase in demand for mental health support. This increase was higher than any other sector investigated, and 30% points higher than the UK average (56%). 

Since COVID-19, 80% of organisations in the finance industry increased the level of mental health support, while more than half (55%) of HR Managers in finance spent, on average, an extra 11-20 hours more each month on mental health support for employees, compared to before the pandemic. Further, over the next year, over three quarters (77%) of organisations in the finance industry plan to increase the level of mental health support they provide, compared with the UK average of only two thirds (66%).

Despite increasing demand and mental health support provision, mental health and wellbeing is still not fully embedded into business culture. Over one third (36%) of companies in the UK finance industry agree that culturally mental health is not a priority within their organisation.

The Koa Health report, Wellbeing at Work, also found: 

  • Only 27% of HR managers in the finance industry agree3 that they expect the majority of employees to remain predominantly working from home for the next year, compared to the UK average of 46%
  • Almost two fifths (39%) of HR managers in the finance industry agree3 that it’s harder to know if an employee’s wellbeing is good when working remotely, compared to the UK average of 49%
  • Over a third (36%) of HR Managers in the finance industry agree3 that remote working has made it easier for an employee’s mental health to ‘fall through the cracks’, well below the UK average of 51%
  • Organisations in the finance industry are less likely to tailor mental health support to both the companies and employee unique needs, with less than one in five (18%) of those whose companies offer their employees mental health support/ tools offering personalised solutions to company and employees, compared to UK average of just under one in four (24%).

Dr. Oliver Harrison, CEO of Koa Health, said “HR Managers in the finance industry have taken promising early steps to protect the mental wellbeing of their employees. However, it is concerning that with such a high demand for additional support, many financial services organisations still do not see mental health as a cultural priority at their organisation. As UK employees consider returning to the office, the finance industry must continue to build on the progress it has made in response to the pandemic.”

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