As a society, we need to recognise that more proactive action needs to be in place to address the issues of mental health in the workplace. This is not only to consider the health and benefits to employees, but also to the obligation of employers who are legally obliged to to take certain steps to protect staff legally considered to be disabled.
1 in 6 workers suffer from anxiety, stress and depression and unmanageable stress each year.
74% of people with a mental health problem lasting more than a year are out of work.
55% of people with anxiety or depression for more than a year are out of work.
49% of workers state that they would not feel able to disclose their mental health issues to their employer.
The costs relating to mental ill health for employers has been calculated at £26 Billion per year.
in 2015, 18 million working days were lost through sickness absence related to mental health
People with severe and enduring mental health issues are more likley to die 15-20 years younger than the national average.
What does this mean for you?
In January 2017, the Prime Minister commisioned a review by Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer (CEO of Mind and Chair of the NHS Mental Health Taskforce) to review mental health support in the workplace.
They have been tasked at looking into recommendations around extending protection from discrimination in the workplace relating to mental ill health that can be episodic and fluctuating. They have also been asked to review Health and Safety regulations, and to look into first aid training that includes mental health factors,
As an Employer, what can you do?
At TRC Solutions, we provide a range of mental health training to all levels within your organisation. This is to frontline staff, and managers/HR professionals. We also provide advice to senior management about culture and communication around mental health issues within the workplace.
We encourage employers to create a culture of support and openess, so that employees who need support can seek it without fear and stigma.
We support employers to look at their policies around sickness absence, and examine them to see if they actually support their staff who may have mental health issues. In some cases, sickness absence policies can encourage staff to return to work when they may not be fit to do so. This is likely to reduce productivity, and will cost the employer more than sickness absence in the longer term.
We also provide training and advice to managers on how to identify and manage staff that are at risk of becoming unwell at work. Included in this advice is how to manage and support staff that have left on sickness absence, and how to successfully manage their return to work,
Mental health is quite clearly in the public agenda at this time (and quite rightly so). It is no longer a taboo, but mental health within the workplace remains an issue that is rarely discussed until there is a problem.
At TRC Solutions, our aim is to prevent mental health issues becoming a problem for both employees and the employer. For the employer, prevention is much cheaper than dealing with the cure. For most employees, they are often unaware that they may be at risk of mental health related issues and will often struggle until they can no longer carry on.
Our aim is to create more discussion around mental wellbeing in the workplace. If you have have any comments or feedback, please share and let us know your thoughts.