Are we open about our mental health?
IP Inclusive and Jonathan’s Voice have found that many in the IP industry are unwilling to discuss their mental health, but see negative effects from stress.
The survey of IP professionals shows stress around work to be a significant problem across the industry, and that few feel able to be fully open about their mental health at work.
Of the survey respondents who reported mental health difficulties, only 16% had felt able to be fully open with their line manager.
19% felt able to speak with their colleagues more generally about their mental health – a slight improvement from the survey performed in 2019, and 36% had spoken to someone at work about their mental health.
Respondents were more likely to seek support from sympathetic colleagues rather than official avenues for support, for example Jonathan’s Voice of LawCare.
60% of legal professionals, including Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys, felt that their work had been affected specifically by work related stress during the past year.
This experience is echoed by students and paralegals – in these categories, 72% and 50% of participants reported the same experience.
However, in comparison to the 2019 survey, a slightly higher margin of those suffering from stress and other mental health challenges at work said that they felt able to cope.
Both the rise in reported stress and the rise in those who felt able to cope align with a growing number of people making use of support services such as LawCare and Jonathan’s Voice.
Compared to 2019, fewer participants felt concerned about a lack of control over where they work from. However, many respondents with caring responsibilities report feeling more stressed in relation to these responsibilities than they did three years ago.
Similarly to 2019, high workloads resulted in a very significant amount of stress: More participants avoided taking time off due to having too much work to do than due to loss of income or pressure from colleagues or management.
Drawing on survey responses from 485 participants, the survey was offered in different forms to students, legal professionals and business support professionals from both trade mark and patent backgrounds.