News 27 February

Kooth Work Survey Finds 49% of Travel Industry Workers Invent Physical Illness to Justify Time off for Mental Health

Preview of survey on travel industry workers and business travellers shows mental health largely not taken seriously by managers

Kooth Work, the online mental health support service from XenZone, has today released interim findings from its survey of travel industry workers and business travellers, showing almost half (49%) of respondents have invented a physical illness as a cover for needing time off for their mental health.

The findings are announced today as spokespeople at the organisation speak at the Business Travel Show; Kooth Work is also sponsoring the event’s Wellness Retreat.

When asked what would stop them taking a day off for their mental health, 37% of survey respondents said “It wouldn’t be taken as seriously as physical health”. Over a quarter (26%) of respondents said “I don’t want to be known as ‘that person’”.

In fact, more than 45% of respondents said they don’t get the right type of mental health support from their employer. When asked what type of mental health service they would like, most (37%) said they would like access to counselling/therapy, 32% would like anonymity and 20% would like a service available out of hours.

More than 50 respondents submitted additional comments, showing a worrying lack of support offered to employees. Some typical feedback included:

  • “[Management] Don’t understand how difficult travelling can be. Think it’s a holiday and downtime isn’t appreciated.”
  • “Operation and performance statistics comes first over employees.”
  • “I have been off work with severe mental health issues and I don’t mention anything to them it’s pointless. It’s clear I am just a number.”

When asked how better mental health support would benefit them, most (71%) respondents agreed with the statement “It would make me feel happier inside and outside work”. Over half (53%) also said they would be more productive.

To organise an interview with either speaker, please contact Lex Young at lyoung@xenzone.com.

The survey, which is live at: landing.kooth.com/travelsurvey is open to the travel industry and business travellers. Fill in the survey and register to receive the full results when it closes.

About Kooth Work

Established in 2001, XenZone is the UK’s largest digital mental health provider. Its mental health and wellbeing services are accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Kooth Work from XenZone is a service for employees, offering flexible access to peer support, digital tools, such as an online journal or goals tracker, and a host of self-help materials. Kooth Work also offers one-to-one online ‘chat’ sessions with experienced, qualified counsellors.