8 November 2016

Financial, mental and physical health problems are all affecting workers and are in fact interacting so that a large number of people are suffering from two or even all three of these issues.

This is according to research by AXA PPP healthcare which questioned over 4000 British adults, of whom 2470 are in full- or part-time work.

AXA found that 81% of workers who have faced challenges with their mental health say their physical health has been adversely affected too, while 76% who have had financial difficulties say their mental health has also deteriorated.

Furthermore, 71% of workers who have had problems with their physical health have also experienced difficulties with their mental health.

These findings are, the insurer said, supported by a recent NHS Digital report into comorbidity which found that over a third of people with symptoms of a severe common mental disorder also had a chronic physical condition.

For example, asthma and high blood pressure were associated with mental health conditions including depression, anxiety and phobias.

Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services for AXA PPP healthcare, said: “It’s a potentially toxic mix that calls for careful handling. When considering wellbeing initiatives, employers would be wise to take a holistic approach to enable employees to maintain their mental, physical and financial wellbeing.”

It is, he went on, important for employers to ensure that line managers are suitably trained and supported to recognise and help employees when they are struggling to cope.