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Poor mental health main reason for young people to quit work, says Deloitte

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Mental health issues are a strong driver for the ‘Great resignation’, with young people the biggest group quitting their jobs due to poor mental health, a new report has found.


Deloitte’s annual mental health report was based on a survey of 3,599 individuals in either full or part time work.

Conducted in Autumn 2021, it found that 28 per cent of employees had either left that year or were planning to leave their jobs in 2022, with the majority citing poor mental health as the reason for leaving.

Two in three young people aged between 18 and 29 years said they had quit work, or were going to, due to mental health. Photograph: iStock

Young people (18-29 years old) were found to be most likely to have moved jobs or be considering a job move. One in five (21 per cent) young people surveyed said they were planning to leave and one in four (24 per cent) said they had intentionally left their job in the past 12 months.

Of those who had intentionally left or planned to leave their job, two in three (65 per cent) said this decision was driven by poor mental health.

Elizabeth Hampson, Deloitte director said: “Mental health issues are a strong driver for the ‘Great resignation’. Long hours, increased stress and job insecurity have had a detrimental impact on quality of life during the pandemic. People are leaving their jobs, re-evaluating their careers and changing occupations in large numbers.

“Burnout among employees, such as feelings of exhaustion, mental distance from the job and reduced job performance, have been more evident during the pandemic.”

The cost to employers of poor mental health has also risen to £56bn in 2020-21 from £45bn in 2019. The overall increase is due to higher staff turnover, with labour turnover up by 25 per cent since 2019, Deloitte said.

Commenting, Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, said: “We know employers who invest in staff wellbeing are more likely to report having staff who are happy, productive and less likely to leave. This latest report from Deloitte suggests employers see a return of £5.30 on average for every £1 invested in staff wellbeing so it’s never been timelier to prioritise staff mental health, especially given staff are once again adjusting to new ways of working, with many employers trialling hybrid working.”

Mental health and employers: The case for investment - pandemic and beyond report by Deloitte here

Best under 21 poster winner in the British Safety Council 'images of wellbeing' competition 2018. Design by Colin Orr

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