HR professionals report increase in staff mental health struggles

73% of HR professionals have revealed an increase in staff struggling with their mental health over the last 12 – 24 months, according to new research from Samten.

The research, which surveyed just under 1,000 HR professionals on the impact COVID-19 has had on the mental wellbeing of their workforce, also found that nearly 30% of organisations had experienced a 25% increase in staff reporting mental health challenges, with 34% reporting a 26 – 50% increase and 20% reporting a 51 – 75% increase.

When questioned on whether their organisation regularly developed and promoted initiatives to help encourage mental well-being amongst their employees, 74% said ‘yes’ but 69% felt more could be done.

Interestingly, 77% of HR professionals confirmed they understood the correlation between mindfulness, meditation and improved mental health, with 73% advising they believed meditation and mindfulness could help improve focus and productivity in the workplace.

Other key take outs from the research include:

  • 71% of HR professionals believe staff should be proactively encouraged to dedicate time to mindfulness and meditation during work hours
  • 53% of HR professionals revealed they personally dedicate time to mindfulness and meditation
  • 39% of HR professionals believe a lack of time prevents individuals from regularly practicing mindfulness and meditation, with 34% citing lack of understanding and/or knowledge and 22% citing lack of guidance
  • 42% of HR professionals cited reduced anxiety and/or depression as the main benefit of regularly practicing mindfulness and meditation, with 37% citing reduced stress

This research is timely with the unveiling of our updated app which provides professionals with easy to follow, traditional and authentic mindfulness and meditation teachings guided by co-founder and renowned Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten.

Having delivered mindfulness and meditation teachings for major organisations worldwide, including Google, LinkedIn, Deloitte, and Accenture, guided practises from Gelong Thubten allow users to combine traditional practices of meditation and mindfulness to ultimately change their relationship with their thoughts – decreasing anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns, whilst benefitting from an increase in creativity, productivity, and energy levels.

Reflecting on the research, Simon Delve, CEO of Samten, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly challenging from a mental health perspective, particularly when considering new variants and consistent changes to rules and restrictions.

"Having worked as a leader in the corporate world for many years I can wholeheartedly appreciate the strain that today’s demands put on all employees across the organisations. This has been the case for many years even before Covid-19 was playing its part. As a result, it comes as no surprise to me that most organisations are experiencing a vast increase in staff members reporting mental health concerns, with most HRs advising more could be done in terms of wellbeing initiatives and support. The situation is knowing where to start and taking the first small step to help their employees.

“In launching our new corporate version of Samten, we have a clear goal to help organisations large and small support mental wellbeing amongst staff members. Spending just 5-10 minutes per day listening to the teachings and guidance delivered by Thubten is proven to reduce high blood pressure, improve focus and increase energy levels, enabling staff to feel happier and more in control when in the workplace. What’s more, as the app has been designed to literally guide and teach people through the process, concerns over lack of guidance or knowledge and understanding are immediately eliminated.”