London - Work stress is now the biggest factor in driving Britons to drink, drugs and depression, according to mental health experts.

More than a third of adults say their job is the most stressful aspect of their lives – more so than money or health worries.

Six in ten (57 percent) of these hit the bottle after work – with one in seven (14 percent) even drinking during the day, a survey for mental health charity Mind found.

The organisation also reported that workplace stress caused to seven percent having suicidal thoughts, rising to a worrying 10 percent of those aged 18 to 24.

Companies themselves are also affected, said Mind, as 19 percent of workers have thrown a sickie because they could not face going in to work that day.

Around one in 11 (nine percent) have resigned from a job because of stress while a quarter (25 percent) admit they have thought about quitting but have yet to do so, it was found.

Workers rarely feel they can talk to their bosses about being stressed, even though most employers say they would like to do more to help improve the mental wellbeing of staff, said the charity.

Mind’s chief executive, Paul Farmer, said: “Work-related mental health problems are an issue too important for businesses to ignore.

“We know that right now, one in six workers is experiencing depression, stress or anxiety and yet our survey tells us that most managers don’t feel they have had enough training or guidance to support them.”

While 34 percent say work is the biggest cause of stress, 30 percent say it is financial problems. And 17 percent of the 2,000 adults surveyed said health worries were causing them stress or anxiety.

Other ways of coping include using sleeping tablets or anti-depressants, or smoking. - Daily Mail