2022 State of Wellness at the Workplace in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

By Staff Writer, 23 January 2023
2022 State of Wellness at the Workplace in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

January 22, 2023 — RIYADH, KSA. — Tuhoon, the Arab world’s first tech-enabled, multi-modal ecosystem of mental wellness products and services, announced the findings of its first annual State of Wellness at the Workplace report, a survey based report which revealed that employer-provided mental health care benefits are falling short of employees’ escalating need. Tuhoon partnered with the National Center for Mental Health and palmHR on the report. Based on a survey of approximately 50 HR and benefits leaders and 4,000 full-time employees at private and public organizations across the Kingdom, the report points to mental health care accessibility, quality of care, and cultural stigma as barriers to employee wellness.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 4 out of 5 employees experienced at least one mental health challenge in the past 12 months. The most commonly reported challenges were burnout, anxiety, and stress. 
  • 78% of organizations do not measure their employee’s state of mental wellbeing. Without regular and efficient data collection, organizations will find it difficult to allocate resources towards addressing this challenge.   
  • Only 19% of employees with a diagnosed mental health disorder seek professional help. The majority of those who do seek professional help, pay out-of-pocket.
  • Women are 50% more likely to report having poor mental health. Women participation in the workforce has more than doubled to 35% in the Kingdom, with the majority of them more likely to report having poor mental health.
  • 82% of organizations do not have a dedicated budget for mental health services. While more organizations are paying attention to their employee’s mental health, the vast majority of organizations do not have a dedicated budget for mental health services, which makes the challenge difficult to address on a regular basis. 

“Organizations should consider measuring their employee’s mental wellness regularly and allocate resources accordingly. The KSA’s economy is booming. Differentiation both in terms of profitability as well as employee engagement and retention will increasingly depend on how much employers invest in their employee’s wellness” said Fares Ghandour, Co-founder and CEO at Tuhoon. “This is particularly important as the share of women in the workplace in the Kingdom continues to grow, in line with the Vision 2030’s objectives. Women are more likely to report having poor mental health, and therefore possibly more receptive to engage with service and solutions employers provide to address those challenges.”

As part of the collaboration with Tuhoon to conduct and publish this study, NCMH General Manager Dr. Abdel Hamid Al-Habib stated:

“Mental health risks at the workplace are a major challenge which organizations and leaderships face in the world today. These risks may undermine the organizations’ development and prosperity processes, causing direct and indirect losses, and can also impact the community and family, causing on top of that a significant damage to the life of individuals. Thus, developing national strategies to address and mitigate these risks is a duty.”

For more report findings and best practices to support workplace well-being, download the State of Wellness at the Workplace.