Organisations still not providing enough support on mental health, poll finds

London, 11 November 2019 – Organisations are still failing to provide enough support to staff in terms of their mental health according to a poll out today from The Chartered Governance Institute and governance recruitment specialist The Core Partnership. Fewer than half (45%) of respondents to the poll believe that their organisation does enough to support staff’s mental health, with over a quarter (26%) stating that their organisation does not do enough. A similar poll a year ago found parallel results: 49% of respondents believed that their organisation did enough to support employees’ mental well-being and 31% believed that their organisation did not.

According to one respondent “there are lots of initiatives in place but unfortunately, the mental health issues relating to overwork and shortage of staff continues to be a problem with very little evidence of it being addressed”.

Of those organisations that are taking steps to provide support, the following methods are being employed

  • Mindfulness
  • Resilience training
  • Mental health first aid training
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Massage
  • Counselling
  • Well-being sessions
  • People’s Well-being Champions
  • Occupational Health support in person, by telephone and online.

The biggest barriers to overcome when seeking to improve well-being in the workplace are listed as lack of knowledge (59%) and stigma around mental health (51%). Cost was considered to be a barrier by just 11% of respondents, but concerns about fear of policies being taken advantage of and lack of interest were each cited by 19% of respondents as being a barrier.

“There is evidence that organisations are attempting to support employees, with 47% of respondents stating that their organisation has a mental health first aider, 66% saying that they have a counselling service, 52% having a well-being policy and 41% having specific management training on staff mental health. However, the fact that there has been little movement within a year in terms of the perception of how much support is given is cause for concern.

“Lack of knowledge and stigma still appear to be big hurdles to overcome. It cannot be right that people are holding back from reporting mental health issues in this day and age for fear that this will be perceived as weakness and affect their chances of promotion, a pay rise or a bonus. Such toxicity is the sign of poor organisational culture and addressing the symptoms of lack of well-being in the workplace will not succeed unless the underlying causes are tackled too. The reality of modern working is that there is less time to do a great deal more and this is increasing levels of stress. A positive culture and better engagement can do wonders to help employees feel they are a valued member of the workforce,” says Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director at The Chartered Governance Institute.

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Notes to Editors:

  1. The Chartered Governance Institute is the qualifying and membership body for governance with over 125 years’ experience of educating and supporting governance professionals. With a Royal Charter purpose of leading ‘effective and efficient governance and administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’, we provide professional development, guidance and thought leadership, and work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards. Website:
  2. The Core Partnership is a niche market recruitment consultancy working with Company Secretaries and their teams to advise on and resource their specialist interim and permanent manpower needs. With relevant professional backgrounds spanning back to the 1980s, The Core Partnership has a wealth of knowledge of the development and dimensions of the role of the Company Secretary. The team provides market advice on relevant qualifications and experience, conducts salary and benchmarking exercises and works throughout the UK and overseas recruiting at all levels to this specific discipline. Website: 
  3. Previous ICSA-Core poll findings can be found at 
  4. This poll is based on answers from 73 respondents across a variety of sectors.

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