Employees in SEA reluctant to speak up about mental health concerns

Organisations can do more to create a psychologically safe work environment that improves employee engagement, performance, and retention.
By: | January 18, 2023

Concerned about negative repercussions, about 38% employees in South-East Asia are reluctant to share their mental health concerns with their managers.

The most common challenges employees face in sharing their mental health concerns at work, according to a survey by Milieu Insight, include not wanting to burden people with their problems (38%), not wanting to be judged or discriminated (37%), and the fear of being perceived as weak, unproductive, or lazy (36%).

This is particularly pertinent in Singapore, where 62% of employees are unwilling to share their mental health challenges with colleagues and managers. This is followed by Malaysia (45%), the Philippines (38%), Indonesia (34%), Thailand (33%), and Vietnam (21%).

45% of the survey respondents also lament that psychological safety is either non-existent or poorly implemented at their workplace, which hinders the normalisation of mental health discussions at work.

READ: South-East Asia expected to see salary hike in 2023

Gerald Ang, CEO of Milieu Insight, said, “The barrier preventing employees from seeking help is often due to the lack of safe spaces in the workplace, stemming from many causes including the lack of perceived care by the company for their employees’ wellbeing as reflected in our study. While mental health resources are important, they are part of a well-rounded solution needed to provide a healthy environment that employees can thrive in.”