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Stressed workers take 12.5 million days off in a year as depression and anxiety hit

Mirror logo Mirror 12/01/2018 Ben Glaze

a woman standing in front of a window: Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Getty Stressed workers took 12.5 million days off last year, official figures have revealed.

More than half a million people suffering from depression, stress or anxiety were unable to turn up for shifts as planned.

That is up by 800,000 days compared with last year.

Health and Safety Executive stats show that work-related stress, depression or anxiety account for 40% of work-related ill health and 49% of all working days lost, in 2016/17.

Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, who unearthed the figures, said: “This shows the enormous scale of the damage that mental illness does to individuals and the wider economy.

“My worry is that this is just the tip of the iceberg and the true figures are much more stark.

It is the highest number of days lost due to depression since the economic crash of 2007/8, when more than 13 million were lost.

An average of 23.8 days lost per case last year.

Occupations and industries reporting the highest rates of work-related stress, depression or anxiety remain consistently in the health and public sectors of the economy, with teachers and welfare workers baring the brunt.

Reasons cited include workload (44%), lack of managerial support (14%), violence, threats or bullying (13%) and changes at work (8%).

a woman on a laptop: Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Getty It comes after the Mirror yesterday (WED) told how Department of Health staff have taken twice as much sick leave as the average worker, with more than 50,000 days lost to sickness in just three years.

The cost to the economy in 2015/16 of days lost to mental health problems was an estimated £5.2billion but it is thought the cost will have rocketed up this year with a huge spike in days lost.

Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, who unearthed the figures, said: “This shows the enormous scale of the damage that mental illness does to individuals and the wider economy.

“My worry is that this is just the tip of the iceberg and the true figures are much more stark. I think thousands of people are struggling day-to-day because they can get the get the help or support they need.

“We have a mental health emergency in our country and for all the warm words, government press releases and announcements, actually treatment is getting hard to access and people are waiting longer.”

The HSE defines work-related stress as ‘a harmful reaction that people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work’.

Its 11-page report, Work-related Stress, Depression or Anxiety Statistics in Great Britain 2017, revealed 526,000 workers were ‘suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2016/17’.

Women aged between 35 and 44 were the most likely group to suffer from depression, stress or anxiety at work, with 2,430 cases per 100,000 workers.

The rate was 1,110 for those aged 16 to 24 years; 1,930 for the 25 to 34 bracket; and 2,120 for women aged between 45 and 54 years.

There were 1,420 cases per 100,000 for the 55 and over category.

Among men, those aged between 45 and 54 years were most likely to suffer from depression, stress or anxiety at work, with 1,440 cases per 100,000 workers.

That compared with just 720 cases per 100,000 male workers aged 16 to 24 years; 1,060 for those aged 25 to 34; 1,340 for those aged 35 to 44, and 1,060 for workers aged 55 and over.

Related: This One Type Of Exercise Has Truly Amazing Health Benefits (Provided by Wochit News)

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