New Study Reveals Risk of Mental Health Crisis in the Workplace. One in four UK employees bothered by thoughts of suicide or self-harm 

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New Study Reveals Risk of Mental Health Crisis in the Workplace

One in four UK employees bothered by thoughts of suicide or self-harm 

LONDON – 21st June, 2024 – Wysa, the leading AI-guided mental health solution, today released the results of the Colleagues in Crisis Report, which uncovers the extent to which UK employees, especially younger generations, are at risk of mental health crisis and how employers can best offer support. The report reveals an alarming 25% of UK workers had been bothered by thoughts that they would be better off dead, or of hurting themselves in the two weeks prior to the survey. This figure expands to over one in three (36%) when applied to the past year. 

Gathered through an accredited third-party research platform which polled 2,182 UK full- and part-time employees across all industries, the data shows UK workers experience high rates of the feelings commonly associated with severe depression and suicide risk while at work. This includes emotional distance from others (35%), a sense of isolation or withdrawal (32%), a sense of distraction or lack of humor (32%), dwelling on the past (28%), persistent feeling of hopelessness (25%), and contemplation of death (9%). Younger workers faced the most significant rates of symptoms, with nearly half (44%) of 18- to 24-year-olds experiencing emotional distance from others at work and 39% feeling a sense of isolation or withdrawal. 

The data suggests employees also worry about their colleagues and don’t feel their employers are offering adequate help. Over the past year, 15% of UK employees experienced a colleague attempting, or losing their life by suicide, and 26% say they’ve felt concerned a colleague may harm themselves or take their own life. One in three (33%) believe their employer is overlooking serious mental health problems among their employees, and 41% feel mental health is simply treated as a ‘check box’ exercise in their workplace. To feel supported, 49% of workers would prefer an offer of professional help and 25% are interested in digital mental self-help tools as a solution. 

“These statistics serve as a wake-up call for employers to recognize and address the mental health crisis within the workplace,” said Ramakant Vempati, president and co-founder at Wysa. “Even one person contemplating suicide or self-harm is too high. The average person will spend one-third of their lifetime at work, so UK companies have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in supporting individuals. Equipping the workplace with the tools and training to identify crises and provide critical interventions can prevent tragedies from occurring.”

The study polled workers from all industries and found real estate professionals have the highest occurrences of mental health crises. Over the past year, 61% of those working in real estate were bothered by thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation. This is followed by those in agriculture (54%), hospitality (51%), engineering (47%), manufacturing (45%), construction (45%), and retail (45%). When it comes to support from employers, a staggering 50% of those in real estate stated they have seen a manager respond inappropriately to a colleague showing signs or symptoms of mental illness in the past year, with hospitality (39%), agriculture (38%), and social care (38%) following behind. 

“As the mental health crisis escalates to dangerous levels, the impacts on the workplace are profound,” Vempati added. “These findings underscore the critical need for comprehensive mental health assistance to create a culture of support and understanding. That starts with employers removing stigma and increasing access to mental health treatments.”

The full Colleagues in Crisis Report, including graphs and a breakdown by age, sex, and geography, can be found here:


This survey was conducted online between February 19th – 23rd, 2024. A total of 6,413 respondents across the US, UK and Canada were surveyed, 2,182 of whom were from the UK. The survey targeted full and part-time employees. The sample was nationally representative of gender and region. Respondents were required to give additional consent after being told the subject matter of the research.

About Wysa:

Wysa is a global leader in AI-driven mental health support, available to individuals, through employers, insurers and healthcare services. Wysa supports individuals with the help of an “emotionally intelligent” conversational agent which guides users through evidence-based cognitive-behavioral techniques (CBT) and brief interventions to help build mental resilience skills. For healthcare, Wysa offers an end-to-end solution for patients and providers which can triage and deliver the first level of care.

Currently, Wysa has facilitated over 550 million conversations with 6 million users in 95 countries. Wysa’s 50+ clients and partners include Travelers Insurance, the National Health Services (U.K.), Ministry of Health in Singapore, Swiss Re, L’Oreal, Bosch, Colgate-Palmolive, Aetna International, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

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Media Contact:

Diffusion PR for Wysa

Fabiana Ferraro

[email protected] 

0207 291 0245

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