Nearly three quarters of UK organisations expect employee mental health to improve in 2023 as they open up about mental health

New research from Koa Health finds that 70% of companies believe mental health will improve in 2023 as they plan to become more open about mental wellbeing in the workplace

Koa Health
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  • Protecting employees’ quality of life is the #1 reason employers are investing in mental health support
  • 77% of respondents say that employees are using their mental health benefits more than last year
  • While 70% of UK employers expect mental health to improve in 2023, only 39% of executive leadership teams are expected to authorise additional spending on employee mental health
  • Almost all (95%) of organisations have in place plans to equip managers to recognise and deal with employee mental health issues next year

London, 20 December 2022: Koa Health, a leading global provider of digital mental healthcare solutions, today published new survey results on 2023 mental health trends, revealing HR’s perceptions of employee mental health in the UK amid continued socio-economic uncertainty and their supporting organisational investments and strategies for next year.

Koa Health’s research, conducted in partnership with 3Gem Research and Insights, found that half of employers say they plan to talk more about mental health in company communications as teams continue to struggle with the cost-of-living crisis and its impact on mental health. A further 44% say they will openly and visibly practise mental wellbeing habits in the workplace.

Nearly all (93%) of UK organisations are offering their employees mental health benefits of some kind and 77% of respondents report that their employees are using mental health benefits more now compared with the beginning of the year. With increased benefit utilisation and momentum to destigmatise these issues in the workplace, businesses are optimistic about employee mental wellbeing as they go into the new year, with 70% believing mental health will improve in 2023.

When asked about the desired outcomes of such support, quality of life (64%), workplace productivity (55%) and attracting and retaining talent (50%) were cited as the top three.

Despite an evolving appetite to support mental health and an optimistic sentiment toward the outcomes of such programmes, the research also found that although nearly all companies offer mental health benefits, mental health is not a cultural priority for two fifths (40%) of UK organisations. Further, only 39% of executive leadership teams are expected to authorise additional spending on employee mental health in 2023.

With recent Deloitte research showing that over half (52%) of employees in the UK haven’t felt supported by their employer when it comes to mental health, it becomes apparent that despite ongoing efforts and clear intentions to better support employee mental health, there continues to be a gap between employer perception and employees’ lived experience.

While there is misalignment on priorities at the highest levels of the organisation, HR leaders have a strong pulse on what is affecting mental health at work the most.

Almost two thirds (60%) of employers feel personal financial concerns have a significant negative impact on employee mental health, closely followed by workplace culture (52%), which nods to the work environment, workload, flexible hours and relationships with managers. A hopeful majority of organisations (95%) do have in place plans to equip managers to recognise and deal with employee mental health issues next year, with 60% planning training on mental health awareness and almost two fifths (38%) providing access to aggregated data to help them understand their team’s mental wellbeing.

Oliver Harrison, CEO of Koa Health comments “It’s positive to see that more businesses plan to be open about mental health in the workplace. I believe that the greatest barrier today is still stigma and creating a culture in which it’s ‘OK to not be OK’ is the first step to becoming a workplace that promotes and sustains the mental health of the team. Employers are uniquely positioned to support their people, and not just because working adults spend most of their waking hours at their place of employment. It’s a matter of trust – research shows that more than any other care provider, including public health systems and private medical insurers, employees trust their employers to offer them tools and solutions for health.

Feeling supported is a strong reason for people to join an organisation, drive business performance, and stay over the long term. Investing in your people is the right thing to do and it makes great business sense.”

Harrison advises that “the only way to deliver mental health support at the required scale is with digital tools. Mental health is a continuum, requiring solutions that offer a range of services from prevention to treating early symptoms to clinical treatment. The most effective solution will personalise care to everyone, instead of taking a ‘one-size-fits-all' approach.”


Note to editors

Results are based on an independent online survey conducted by 3Gem Media Group Ltd on behalf of Koa Health; n=250 senior HR managers in The UK and n=250 senior HR managers in the US, in organisations of 10+ employees, were surveyed from 18th to 24th November 2022.


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About Koa Health

Koa Health is a leading digital platform for workplace mental health, helping business leaders care for high-performing teams. Backed by investors including Telefónica, Ancora Finance Group and Wellington Partners, Koa Health’s solutions are comprehensive, credible and conclusive. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Koa Health has operations in Barcelona, the US and the UK. Koa Health partners with leading clinicians and academics including Massachusetts General Hospital, the University College of London, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

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