Business leaders self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to cope with mental health problems

UK business leaders are self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to cope with mental health symptoms during the pandemic.

According to new research from health insurer Bupa Global, 78% of business leaders have experienced fatigue, a lack of motivation, mood swings and disturbed sleep this year.

To cope with these symptoms 38% have turned to recreational and over the counter drugs or alcohol, 34% have relied on shopping or spending and 32% admitted to overexercising.

According to the report, leadership pressures and ongoing stigma about mental health in the workplace could be partly responsible for their tendency to self-medicate.

Though there has been widespread awareness about the need to support mental wellbeing of employees during the pandemic, two in five (42%) board level executives still said they believe it would damage their reputation if they admitted they were struggling.

Thirty-nine per cent also said they wouldn’t be able to seek help for fear that it would impact their social standing within the organisation.

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