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Majority of Filipinos experience work-related mental health issues—study

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jul 05, 2024 7:23 pm

Ever feel like work is getting you down? You're not alone. A new study found that a majority of Filipinos suffer from high levels of work-related mental health issues that contribute to the challenges in their field.

According to the findings of the Mind Health Study conducted by insurance provider AXA, 87% of Filipinos were revealed to be experiencing at least one mental health issue caused by their work environment. This number is 11% higher than the global average.

These include tiredness, trouble sleeping, stress and anxiety, loss of interest, difficulty concentrating, loss of self-confidence, feelings of worthlessness, and appetite or eating disorders.

Furthermore, around half of the Filipino workforce experiences more than four of these consequences at rates (10%) considerably higher than the global average.

Effects of burnout, coping mechanisms

According to one of the respondents, these mental health challenges are observed in different forms like sudden mood shifts, moments of zoning out or appearing lost in thought, but there are no noticeable signs "95% of the time."

Because of poor mental health, the study noted that this causes Filipino employees to disengage from their work, with 85% contemplating stepping back from work, while 68% are considering quitting or changing jobs. 

Others take training courses to change jobs (57%), work remotely so they do not have to come to the workplace (54%), or take sick leaves (50%).

Some have also been taking sick leaves due to mental or psychological health issues, at 31%.

Burnout is another critical issue, with 33% of respondents experiencing it in the past year, well above the global average of 20%. Despite this, only 22% have decided to seek help from healthcare professionals to resolve their burnout, something that AXA points to a gap in mental health support.

There are also positive findings in the study; it revealed that Filipino employees show a stronger tendency to seek help from managers (64%) compared to the global average (46%).

It was also found that 71% feel that their companies are taking action to care for their mental health while 68% are satisfied with company support during personal difficulties.

Given the variety of mental health problems and difficulties encountered in the workplace, AXA urged that "businesses should have a diverse range of solutions on their radar to meet everyone's needs."

Based on the findings, AXA highlighted that some of the key initiatives that companies should keep in mind are providing mental health workshops and seminars, access to external consultation services, and having designated mental health days.

"By adopting a holistic approach to mental well-being that considers both personal and professional factors, companies can reduce absenteeism, boost productivity, and foster a supportive work environment," the insurance company stated.