Research by Bupa Global, the international health insurer, reveals that 64% of senior business leaders have suffered from mental health conditions including anxiety, stress and depression, with work often cited as a contributor to this.
To mark Mental Health Awareness Day, Bupa Global conducted a study with 1,556 global business leaders to uncover the challenges that come with seniority in the workplace and the related pressures such as responsibility and working internationally.
58% of respondents said that they felt it was harder for leaders to talk about mental health and a quarter of people feel less supported around the issue of mental health since becoming more senior.
The most common barriers among sufferers to addressing mental health at work is the fear that it would reflect negatively on their ability to cope as a leader, concern that it would be career limiting and fear of being judged by others.
Patrick Watt, Corporate Director, Bupa Global, comments on the findings: “Business leaders are not immune to mental health challenges, and in some case can be especially vulnerable. Pressures that come with the job, such as frequent travel and being away from family, can be overwhelming. In addition there’s a worrying association between mental health and inability to lead, which makes the topic taboo. We need to openly address the obvious link between workplace pressure and mental health, challenge perceptions around mental health and leadership and ensure that there are a range of services available to support senior people.”