Filipino workers’ mental health declines amid pandemic – survey

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Filipino workers� mental health declines amid pandemic � survey
Builders help in construction of the NLEX skyway connector project connecting the city of Caloocan to Sampaloc in Manila as seen on May 19, 2021.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The mental health of Filipino workers declined amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey of more than 6,000 employees in the Philippines showed.

In a poll by mental health and well-being organization MindNation, Filipino employees rated their mental wellness at work at 6.5 following the pandemic, down from 8 before the unprecedented health crisis.

Most impacted by the pandemic’s adverse effects on mental health were workers aged 18-25, single individuals with no children, full-time night shift employees, members of the LGBTQ community and employees who did not state their gender.

The poll showed that 61% of the respondents said they were stressed, 53% were either worried or anxious, 34% were depressed and 32% felt empty.

The biggest driver of the decline in Filipino workers’ mental health is the fear of COVID-19, which 80% of the respondents said contributed to their worries. 

Following that are financial pressures (47%), personal matters (44%), work performance pressure (44%) and trying to juggle both family and work (25%).

The result of these strains on Filipino workers’ mental health is presenteeism, talent loss and absenteeism. 

Thirty-five percent of employees polled said they are having productivity issues which affect their work, losing an average of two hours of productivity a day. Meanwhile, 23% said they would “think about” quitting due to mental health and well-being challenges. A further 13% said they would take sick days due to these hurdles.

According to MindNation, mental health and well-being challenges faced by employees cost businesses at least P7 million in the last year alone.

It recommends that businesses work to stop the stigma on mental health and well-being, to partner with a mental health and well-being provider, and to create a mental health company policy.

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