Under significant strain: Employees in Asia at moderate mental health risk

Strained mental health also impacting workplace productivity, report says

Under significant strain: Employees in Asia at moderate mental health risk

Employees in Asia are under "significant mental health strain," according to a white paper from Aon and TELUS Health.

The report, which looked into the mental health status of 13,000 people, found that employees in the all the 12 economies included in the survey are under mental health strain.

"With a score of 62.4, the Asia Mental Health Index reveals employees in Asia are under significant mental health strain in every location involved in the study," the report said.

More than eight in 10 (82%) of the respondents also have a moderate to high risk of experiencing mental health issues.

The markets with the highest proportion of employees with a high mental health risk profile include South Korea (44%), Malaysia (42%), and Japan (41%).

Mental health impact on productivity

The strained mental health status of employees also imposes a negative effect on workplace productivity, according to the white paper.

It found that 45% of the report's respondents said their mental health is "negatively affecting their work productivity."

In fact, work productivity had a "distressed" sub-score of 47.2, the lowest sub-score in the report.

"In Asia, the lowest sub-score is for work productivity, representing a significant financial risk to organisations," the report said.

What can employers do?

With the high prevalence of mental health risk and issues among employees in Asia, the report underscored the important of initiatives that could support employees in periods of distressed or strained mental health status.

Employers can consider using Employee Assistance Programmes to support employees across a range of personal challenges, the report suggested.

Good engagement can also mitigate the impact of strained mental health on workforce productivity, according to the report.

"Organisations need to consider pairing mental health and wellbeing initiatives with strategies that foster engagement," it suggested.

"This might include reviewing your company culture to ensure your employee value proposition is relevant and meaningful, or adopting benefits and interventions that make it easier to support employees and address diverse needs."

Further findings on the mental health status of workers in Asia are available through the white paper.

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