NEWS10 October 2023

World Mental Health Day: A third of Britons have missed work due to stress

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UK – Over a third ( 35%) of Britons report that they have taken time off work because of stress in the past year, according to a 31-country survey from Ipsos.

purple post-it note with handwritten message 'are you ok?'

The Ipsos Global Advisor research, carried out ahead of World Mental Health Day (today – 10th October), found that 58% of people in Britain think about their mental wellbeing ‘often’ – the same percentage as the global average.

The survey also found that 56% of Britons reported that they had felt stressed to the point that it had impacted daily life in the past year (at least once).

Ipsos conducted the research with over 23,000 adults across 31 countries. Globally, it found that 78% of participants consider mental health to be as important as physical health, with 34% saying their country’s healthcare system treats the two equally.

Almost two-thirds ( 62%) of participants globally said their daily life had been disrupted due to stress in the past year, and 39% reported that they had taken time off work because of stress.

Additionally, women were more likely to say that stress is affecting them. According to the research, over a third of women ( 36%) report that there have been several times in the past year when stress has impacted their daily life, or they have felt they couldn’t cope. Among men, the figure was 26%.

Women were also more likely to report that they have felt depressed to the point of feeling ‘sad or hopeless’ almost every day for a couple of weeks or more ( 30%, compared with 24% of men).

Data previously published by Ipsos in September, from the company’s Global Health Service Monitor, found that mental health is the top health concern across 31 countries, with 44% of participants worried about it – a 17-point increase since Ipsos began running the survey in 2018. Additionally, stress is now the third-biggest worry on the list ( 30%), behind cancer ( 40%).

Ipsos conducted the survey in 31 countries between 21st July and 4th August 2023, via the Global Advisor online platform and, in India, on the IndiaBus platform. For the survey, Ipsos interviewed 23,274 adults aged 18 and over in India, 18-74 in Canada, Republic of Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States, 20-74 in Thailand, 21-74 in Indonesia and Singapore, and 16-74 in all other countries.

The sample consisted of around 1,000 individuals each in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, and the US, and 500 individuals each in Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and Turkey. The sample in India consisted of approximately 2,200 people, of whom around 1,800 were interviewed face-to-face and 400 were interviewed online.