The Brexit vote has caused a sharp increase in stress levels amongst employees worried about their future prospects according to a leading  counselling service.

York based  Mind Matters says it is seeing a significant rise in people suffering from stress and anxiety  since the UK voted to opt out of the European Union.

The company which is engaged by some of the UK’s largest companies, provides counselling services to thousands of people and says the new trend could impact on business performance.

“People are literally devastated by the decision to leave the EU and it is creating uncertainty and concern for the future,” said Julie Hughes, Senior Case Manager at Mind Matters.

“The build up to the vote has been extremely stressful for many people and the result has left them feeling badly let down. They don’t know if their jobs will be safe and they are frustrated that there is little they can do to change the situation.

“Interestingly people are also expressing disappointment that the UK is isolating itself from the rest of Europe.”

Mrs Hughes said the problem seemed to be confined to the South of England. “There is a clear pattern showing a dramatic rise in the number of employees suffering Brexit stress from companies in the south but we haven’t come across any cases in the north.

“It is a serious problem because high levels of stress can trigger depression causing upset for the sufferer and their families and disruption for their employers.

“Often sufferers are too embarrassed or frightened for their job prospects to discuss their problems with colleagues, making it difficult for employers to take preventative action.

“However, there are tell tale signs to watch out for such as people becoming withdrawn or making mistakes in their work or behaving out of character.

“Fortunately we are able to ease the fears of sufferers and prevent serious mental health issues developing if we are able to put a programme of support and counselling in place at an early stage.”

More information on Mind Matters Corporate Counselling can be found at www.mindmatterscounselling.org.uk