Joel Muckett 15 Jan 2018 12:59pm

Third of accountants suffer from poor mental health

Nearly a third of accountants (30.4%) suffer from mental health issues, with more than half (51%) admitting depression and anxiety leaves them dreading going to work

More than two in five (43.5%) accountants believed their job was a key contributor to their poor mental health, according to research from leading independent job board CV-Library.

The research, which examined the impact of poor mental health on work, was released today to coincide with ‘Blue Monday’ – the day in January that is thought to be the most depressing of the year.

Almost three quarters (71.4%) of those suffering from depression or anxiety said it sometimes negatively impacted their working life, while a further 14.3% said it always affected their working life.

“While mental health is something we are beginning to talk about more across the UK, it’s clear there’s still more that needs to be done to help those affected – especially in the workplace,” said CV-Library founder and managing director Lee Biggins.

The top factors cited by accountants as contributing to poor mental health included jobs being boring (42.1%), lack of confidence in one’s own abilities (31.6%), and working with customers and clients (26.3%).

Biggins urged those affected to “take action” by speaking to managers or trusted colleagues, and also suggested that sufferers should seek help outside of work.

“Mental health problems are, unfortunately, something we can’t always escape, but there are steps we can take to make tackling these issues that little bit easier – no one should have to suffer in silence.”

Additionally, the survey found that employers were not dealing with mental health in a sufficient manner, as almost half of the 1,200 accountants surveyed (47.8%) said their employer had no measures in place to help those struggling with it.

To tackle the issue, a majority (86.7%) believed training on mental health could help employers understand the topic, while more than half (57.1%) believed regular one-to-one sessions could provide support to suffering employees.

“If you are able to make your manager aware of what you’re going through, you can begin to put steps in place to help; whether that be regular catch-ups, more flexible working or time off when you need it,” said Biggins.

Biggins added that suffers should consider looking for opportunities elsewhere if their boss does not help them take “positive steps” or is poor at dealing with the situation.

“When choosing to work for a company, it’s important that you select somewhere with the right culture, and look for an employer who understands how to support those who are suffering from mental health issues.”

Mental health remains a taboo subject in the workplace, with less than one in seven employees (13%) comfortable discussing it at work, according to charity Time to Change.

In October, the ‘Thriving at Work’ report commissioned by Theresa May, found that the failure to properly deal with mental health was costing the UK as much as £99bn a year.

Furthermore, it revealed that 300,000 people lose their jobs every year due to poor mental health, with an estimated 15% having symptoms of an existing mental health condition.