- 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions
- Including mental health provision at work can save UK businesses up to £8 billion
- 1 in 5 people take a day off due to stress, yet 90% of these people cited a different reason for their absence
- 9% of employees who disclosed mental health issues to their line manager reported being disciplined, dismissed or demoted*
There are both ethical and commercial reasons to start talking about mental health in the workplace.
We all need to talk more about mental health and no one should feel ashamed or afraid to discuss their mental health issues at work.
Mental Health issues are a normal part of life, and it is important to remember that people can have good mental health or poor mental health at any given point.
Within the UK, the current statistics stipulate that one in four people are affected by a diagnosable mental health issue, and that by 2030 depression will be the single leading cause of illness.
Regardless of if your company has 5 staff, or 50 staff, being able to spot the early signs of a mental health issue allows those experiencing distress to be supported.
Attending a Mental Health First Aid at Work course may well make you more comfortable and confident in being able to provide initial help, to prevent someone harming themselves, signpost to available local services and help to promote their recovery to good mental health.
Sadly there is still too much stigma associated with Mental Health issues and it is important for companies to take steps towards creating an environment where their staff are happy to discuss such issues without fear of how this will affect their working lives.
Each of us has a responsibility to look after our own personal wellbeing as well as the mental health of others. The more mental health is discussed in the workplace the less discrimination will be experienced by those who suffer from these illnesses.
So, what can you do for your Staff support wellbeing?
- Appointment of Mental Health First Aiders
- Wellbeing information being readily available in staff room
- Anonymous electronic way in which to contact the MH First Aider
- Signposting to available services
- Wellbeing breakfasts/lunches (even during a pandemic – conducted online via Zoom)
- Anonymous Wellbeing surveys
- Discounted gym memberships
- Employee Assistance Programme