AXA PPP healthcare

Workers living with mental health problems support free workplace depression screening

Press Release   •   May 23, 2016 14:12 BST

  • Sixty per cent of people living with mental ill health agree that employers should offer free screening for depression in the workplace, according to a new study by AXA PPP healthcare.
  • Over a third of working people (35 per cent) living with mental ill health say they are not open about their condition at work.
  • More than eight in ten (83 per cent)of working people who put off seeing a healthcare professional to help in managing their condition say they wish they had done so sooner. 

23 May 2016: A study commissioned by AXA PPP healthcare* has revealed that 60 per cent of people living with mental ill health think employers should offer free screening for depression in the workplace.

The research also found that over a third of working people (35 per cent) living with mental ill health say they are not open about their mental health condition at work. This compares with 84 per cent who say they are open about their condition with family and or friends.

When it comes to seeking professional help to manage their mental health, nearly half of the people surveyed (47 per cent) say that there had been a particular trigger(s) for their decision to do so– the chief reasons given being having had an ongoing period of not feeling right or feeling like themselves (52 per cent) and the recommendation from a family member or friend (34 per cent).

Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of these respondents said they did not seek professional support for their mental health condition straightaway, however. Asked for the reason(s) why not, nearly two thirds (64 per cent) said that they thought they could manage on their own and over half (52 per cent) said that they didn’t want to admit that they needed help. But, tellingly, more than eight in ten (83 per cent) say that they wished they had sought help sooner.

Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services at AXA PPP healthcare, comments: “Our research suggests that people living with mental ill health would value the offer of free screening for mental health problems, such as depression, in the workplace. If such a service was widely available, we might see an increase in employees seeking and receiving support for their mental health sooner – before reaching crisis point. Adopting this approach would also demonstrate to employees that their psychological wellbeing really matters and, in turn, should help to break down the stigma surrounding mental ill health at work.

“It’s a common regret that people wish they’d sought help sooner to address their mental health concerns. We want to help change this – the sooner people feel comfortable and confident identifying the signs and symptoms of mental ill health, the sooner they will access support and the sooner they can start to feel better.”

For more information on mental health, please visit theAXA PPP healthcare Mental Health Centre – and join the conversation on Twitter by following @AXAPPPhealth and using #RecogniseTalkAct.

*Online survey of 500 UK adults currently diagnosed with stress, anxiety or depression, 393 of whom were in employment, conducted during December 2015 and January 2016 by OnePoll.

About AXA PPP healthcare

AXA PPP healthcare has been helping people to access healthcare services since 1940. Today it forms the UK healthcare arm of AXA and provides medical insurance cover and dental care for individuals and employers, and employee wellbeing, counselling, occupational health and rehabilitation services through its specialist Health Services division.  

About AXA

The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 157,000 employees serving 103 million clients in 59 countries. In 2014, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 92.0 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.1 billion. AXA had Euro 1,277 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2014. In 2014 Interbrand ranked AXA the 1st insurance brand worldwide for the 6th consecutive year.

In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth, AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary, AXA Personal Direct and Partnerships, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 10,500 staff in the UK.

The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.

The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.

It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.