The likelihood of suffering from a mental health condition, including anxiety and depression, is something that must be considered by businesses with overseas employees, according to recent findings.
According to the latest figures released by YouGov, which surveyed more than 21,000 people in 16 countries and regions between 2 and 11 November 2020, mental health problems differ from country to country.
The report revealed that Australians (35%), Americans (34%) and Indonesian (33%) respondents were most likely to say they suffer from a mental health condition.
People in Hong Kong, Denmark and Singapore revealed they were the least likely to report they have mental health problems with each surveyed at 17%.
Overseas employees face specific mental health challenges, such as not being able to see family and friends, particularly with restrictions on travelling home.
Additionally, the different time zones make it difficult to keep in touch as well as the fact that overseas employees may find it difficult to fit in with new cultures.
Sarah Dennis, head of international at Towergate Health & Protection, said: “Mental health issues have been pushed up the corporate agenda due to the challenges faced by employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is particularly the case with those working overseas. We urge employers to consider the extra strain on those based abroad and to focus on prevention of mental health issues by ensuring they have a robust wellbeing programme in place.”
She added: “The next step is to offer support, and to communicate widely that it is available. Extending benefits to include mental as well as physical health can be a huge benefit for employees and employers alike.”
There may be a reflection of cultural attitudes in the figures, where some employees are more willing to discuss mental health issues than others. In practice, those struggling with their mental wellbeing may be greater than reported, which makes it even more important for employers to make support available.