Mental health in the workplace, an overview

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September 20, 2023

The Prevalence

Mental health and wellbeing exist along a continuum, it's well known that at some point in their career, the majority of employees will experience symptoms of poor mental health and well-being [1].

Research studies show that on average, 54% of employees feel stressed or tense during a given day [2], while a further 17% have a clinically significant mental health disorder [3]. Mental health concerns are prevalent in the workplace, and employers need to take proactive steps to address them.

The effect

There are visible and invisible effects of poor mental health in the workplace.

The most common visible effects are attrition and sick days. 61% of attrition and 16% of sick days are due to poor mental health. Those who typically feel tense or stressed out during the workday are more than three times as likely to say they intend to seek employment elsewhere in the next year (71% vs. 20%).

Invisible effects are harder to measure but no less important. Poor organisational culture, bullying, and lower productivity all are downstream effects of power wellbeing.  

The financial cost of these effects is staggering, research estimates that a company with a 1000-employees is losing €3M per year! (Average cost of 3k per employee)

Compounded on top of this, poor mental health festers for a long time before it's treated. For those with serious mental health issues like Depression, it takes an average of eight years to be diagnosed and treated [4] That's eight years of suffering for the individual in the workplace because of a lack of screening.  

The solution

Most modem companies know that they must provide some level of mental health support options to their employees. Here at Lua Health, we’ve interviewed over 100 senior HR and wellbeing leaders and are keenly aware that the utilisation of these supports is a massive problem for companies.

Many companies we talked to heavily invest in good quality, evidence-based supports such as EAPs, mindfulness programs and training mental health first aiders. But, utilisation rates of these supports are often less than 2%.

Due to the nature of mental health issues, most employees don't realise they need help until it reaches a crisis point. Even then, finding support can be difficult if buried in HR intranets.

Lua Health’s AI platform helps employees know when they need support, and aims to detect issues as soon as they start to appear so treatment can be applied at the most effective time.

If you’re interested in learning more about our solution, or have any thoughts on workplace wellbeing, we'd love to hear from you at


[1] “it's a new era for mental health at work”, Havard business review

[2] American Pyschological asoscation

[3] NHS Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey: Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, England, 2014

[4]  Failure and Delay in Initial Treatment Contact After First Onset of Mental Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, Jamanetworks 2005

Written by: 

Fionn Delahunty

Fionn Delahunty is co-founder and CEO of Lua Health, with a background in Psychology and AI.

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