Support for mental health is worse in the public sector compared with the private sector, according to a survey by charity Mind.

The survey of 12,000 employees across both sectors has found that there are more people in the public sector with mental health problems and less support available. 

People working in the public sector were three times as likely to say their mental health was poor compared with those in the private sector and more likely to experience anxiety at work. 

Public sector workers had taken nearly three days off sick in the last year compared with just one day for workers in the private sector. 

Almost half of public sector workers have had time off because of their mental health, compared with less than a third of the private sector workforce.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “This data shows that the public sector in particular is making progress here. But it’s also vital that when people do speak out they get the right help and support at the right time. 

"It’s clear there is still a long way to go in both the public and private sector to address the gap between people asking for support and actually getting what they need.

“By promoting wellbeing for all staff, tackling the causes of work-related mental health problems and supporting staff who are experiencing mental health problems, organisations can help keep people at work and create mentally healthy workplaces where people are supported to perform at their best.

“We must see the next government commit to making change, as government and also as an employer themselves.”