23% of Filipino workers think about quitting due to mental health challenges - survey

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 30) — Around 23% of Filipino employees have thought about quitting their jobs after feeling a degree of mental health challenge over the past year, a survey showed.

A survey by mental health and well-being organization MindNation among 6,000 respondents found that employee absence, productivity loss, and talent loss were the common costs to companies and employers with workers struggling with their mental health in the middle of a pandemic.

The survey was conducted with employees between September 2020 to April 2021.

"In our database, 23% of employees state that they would 'think about' quitting due to mental health and wellbeing challenges," the survey read, noting that this could lead to at least 5% of the total employee base in every company.

"Losing talent is a significant failure to the company as it takes days to find a replacement for a vacated position. This also entails additional time and effort from the organization as a new hire requires onboarding and training," it added.

Around 13% of employees said that they tend to take a sick leave due to mental health and well-being challenges, but 11% prefer not to disclose their struggles with anyone.

Meanwhile, at least 35% of workers said that they have productivity issues affecting their work, losing an average of two hours per day. This is equivalent to a loss of one day per week or two months a year, the survey added.

MindNation said these challenges cost businesses at least ₱7 million in the past year only.

The group also said that the top sources of mental health challenges are COVID-19 fears (80%), financial pressures (47%), personal matters (44%), work performance pressure (44%), and trying to juggle both family and work together (25%).

The key challenges faced at work include lack of focus and concentration, lower than usual self-confidence, sleeping problems, and feeling down.

On a scale of 10 where 0 is depressed and 10 equates to feeling their best selves, the workers also rated their mental wellness at a declining 6.5 following the pandemic, from 8 before the crisis.

Those who were the most affected by the pandemic were workers aged 18 to 25, single with no kids, full-time night shift employees, members of the LGBTQ community, and employees who prefer not to state their gender.

"These are the segments the companies should dedicate even more attention to during the pandemic," MindNation wrote.

The group recommended that companies address the mental health crisis in the workplace by stopping stigma on mental health, partnering with a mental healthcare provider, and creating a mandatory company policy to help their workers have a better state of mental health.