SOME 87% of professionals in the Philippines reported experiencing work-related mental health issues, far exceed the global average of 76%, insurance company AXA said.

The issues cited included at least one of the effects of their work environment: fatigue, trouble sleeping, stress and anxiety, loss of interest, difficulty concentrating, loss of self-confidence, a feeling of worthlessness, and appetite or eating disorders.

Half of respondents reported experience more than four of the effects, against the global rate of over 10%.

“Despite evidence indicating work-related mental health issues, most employees don’t perceive work as the main source of their difficulties. In fact, fewer than a quarter attribute their mental health challenges to their jobs, highlighting a significant disconnect from the actual causes of their struggles,” AXA said in a statement.

AXA added twhat the effects of poor mental health in the workplace lead to “significant disengagement.” It said 85% of workers in the Philippines are thinking of stepping back from work, while 68% are considering quitting or changing jobs.

Over 55% of respondents said they disengage by taking training courses for new jobs, 54% choose to work remotely to escape the workplace, while half take sick leave. It added that 31% have called in sick due to mental health issues.

Burnout is a key issue for employees, with 33% saying they experienced it in 2023. This is above the global average of 20%. Only 22% of employees who experienced this said they sought professional help.

The study found 64% of Philippine respondents are more likely to seek support from their supervisors, well above the global average of 46%.

Over 70% said their companies are providing mental health support, compared to 57% globally.

This brings the satisfaction rate of Filipino workers to 68%, though it dips to 58% for those experiencing burnout.

“Given the variety of mind health problems and difficulties encountered in the workplace, businesses should have a diverse range of solutions on their radar to meet everyone’s needs,” AXA said.

Almost half of respondents expect their employers to offer mental health workshops, 43% expect external consultation services, and 38% expect to be granted mental health days.

The study added that 49% of respondents in the Philippines expressed a strong preference for mental health education, against the global average of 36%.

“Prioritizing the health of employees and recognizing how critical it is to ensure they maintain a positive state of being in and out of the workplace is a business imperative,” Sharon C. Hernandez, chief human resources officer of AXA Philippines said in a statement. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana