Attitudes towards mental health conditions in UK workplaces are improving, but more resources are needed.

Almost three-quarters of respondents to the Mad World Workplace Wellbeing survey felt that there had been either slight improvement (42%) or significant improvement (32%) when asked if attitudes to mental health had improved in the last three years in their place of work.

Worryingly however, almost 80% of respondents felt there was still some stigma associated with mental health issues in their workplaces, with some of these suggesting that colleagues who talked openly about mental health are viewed negatively.

Encouragingly though, a high proportion of that figure felt this was only partly a problem and there was improvement in this area, while almost 19% claimed there was no stigma and colleagues who talk openly about their mental health are not viewed negatively.

The survey, commissioned by Mad World Summit, the leading workplace mental health and wellbeing event which takes place in London on Tuesday October 9, also canvassed opinion on the key areas companies should be addressing to shift from mental health stigma to solutions. Common areas for improvement include:

  • Senior leadership must do more and should openly discuss mental health
  • More training for line managers
  • Develop an open culture and talk openly at all levels – for example in 1:1s
  • Stop “macho cultures” of working long hours and encourage employees to achieve goals and give praise when completed
  • Demonstrate a caring, understanding attitude to staff
  • Bring personal stories to the fore


Simon Berger, co-founder of Mad World, said: “The results reinforce our belief that while there is progress regarding attitudes to mental health, there is still a long way to go.  Businesses must crave more knowledge, training and to be more understanding in order to effectively help – and retain – their employees.”

“By addressing mental wellbeing in the workplace, employees will benefit from better resilience and greater prevention; organisations will benefit from more committed employee engagement, higher productivity and increased profitability; and by harnessing the power of business, we can collectively increase understanding and acceptance, and normalise the parity of esteem of mental and physical health in society.”

“The feedback to the survey has helped us to shape Mad World, which has been established to accelerate the shift from ‘Stigma to Solutions’ and usher in a new era of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.”

“The business case for mental health has been proven. However, real budget needs to be allocated over a sustainable period to ensure that those that are suffering from mental ill-health are supported and we need to pay special attention to prevention, which is essential if we want to create a swift and lasting change – and more resilient workforce as a whole.’’

“‘Mad Word has been developed to challenge the norm,” Simon Berger added. ‘We’re working with some inspiring people and many organisations, ranging from leading corporates to smaller companies, to ensure all attendees leave the day feeling inspired and equipped to implement the necessary changes in their workplaces – and ultimately improve their employees’ wellbeing, ensuring a healthier place of work and an equally healthier business!’’

Delegates attending Mad World, to be held 155 Bishopsgate, in the City of London on Tuesday, on the 9 October 2018, will be treated to a day of fresh and disruptive thinking, inspiring keynotes and a great choice of roundtables and track sessions relevant to them and their objectives.

Leaders across many industries are sharing their insights and calls to action, from Sir Ian Cheshire, Chairman, Barclays UK and Campaign Chair, Heads Together, to Prof. Sir Cary Cooper, 50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health, ALLIANCE Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, President of the CIPD & President of the British Academy of Management, Professor Dame Carol Black DBE, Principal, Newnham College and Expert Adviser to Public Health England and NHS England, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President, techUK, Josh Krichefski, CEO, MediaCom, Dr David Halpern, CEO, Behavioural Insights Team, Bryony Gordon,Author & Columnist, The Telegraph and host of Bryony Gordon’s Mad World podcast, Geoff McDonald, Global Advocate, Campaigner & Consultant, Mental Health at Work and Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor, University of Buckingham.

This is the most respected, inspiring and influential lineup of keynotes assembled for a UK workplace wellbeing event and make Mad World the must attend conference and exhibition in 2018.