Mental Health at Work

Posted: 31st October 2017

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By: Kay Heald

Mental Health at Work

Last week saw the publication of the government-backed Stevenson-Farmer review ‘Thriving at Work’ , which revealed that poor mental health is costing employers up to £42 billion a year. Yet, for every £1 a business invests in supporting mental health at work, it can reap a £9 return.

The report highlights the stigma that is still attached to mental health in the workplace, despite around 15% of people at work having symptoms of an existing mental health condition. Their studies have also shown that 300,000 people lose their job each year because of long-term mental health problems.

What can small businesses do?

Adopt these 6 Mental Health Core Standards to start creating a more open culture for the discussion and promotion of mental wellbeing at work:

1) Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan (use this FREE download for a Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy to give you a head start)

2) Develop mental health awareness among employees

3) Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling

4) Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work life balance and opportunities for development

5) Promote effective people management through line managers and supervisors

6) Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing

Free Resources

The Thriving at Work Review includes a useful guide to support employers to offer workplace adjustments, including the use of wellness action plans, mood trackers, resources from Mental Health First AidBusiness in the Community Toolkits and Access to Work funding.

I believe attitudes are beginning to change, as more organisations start talking with their staff about wellbeing issues. The next challenge is to work together to find appropriate support and assistance for everyone’s mental and physical health.

If you need help in starting your own wellbeing conversations, please contact me.