Kays Medical Occupational health


Apr 2019

One in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem at some point (HSE). While mental health problems are common, most are mild, tend to be short-term and are normally successfully treated, with medication, by a GP. Nonetheless, they are often difficult for a manager or supervisor to deal with in the workplace.

Current evidence indicates that up to 60% of managers are being failed by their organization when it comes to supporting staff mental wellbeing.

When polled by the Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), a mere 31% of managers said they’d been adequately equipped to recognize signs of mental illness in their employees. This is a clear indication that companies are not providing the training needed to tackle an issue which leads to the deterioration of productivity.

An astounding 57% of managers polled claimed their organization offered absolutely no training on staff mental health and wellbeing. Of the 43% who did, only a small proportion of the companies had the training on mental health as mandatory. Mental health is a particularly important issue these days with statistics emerging such as suicide being the single biggest killer of men under 45.

In addition, the report showed that 4/5 employees in the study responded that they would be reluctant to discuss mental health with their manager, fearing that they might be judged incapable in their role. There is also a significant number of respondents which worried that speaking out would lead to them being stigmatized. There’s obviously still a huge taboo still in existence around mental health and it’s important for companies to oust this negative ideology.

Managers are often equally fearful of bringing up mental health issues with an employee in the office. The poll reveals that 33% of managers rarely or never discuss mental health issues. It is suggested that this is due to managers not knowing what to say… Or the fear of potentially saying the wrong thing.

The study concludes that it is integral to the work place environment that managers can identify signs of mental illness and handle them accordingly in a positive, inclusive way.

Whether work is causing the health issue or aggravating it, employers have a legal responsibility to help their employees. Work-related mental health issues must be assessed to measure the levels of risk to staff. Where a risk is identified, steps must be taken to remove it or reduce it as far as reasonably practicable.

Kays Medical workplace mental health training not only helps managers develop skills / an environment that helps to create a happier productive workforce, but also equips managers to practicably recognize and manage acute manifestations of mental ill health up to and including self-harm and cognitive impairment.

To find out more about Kays Medical’s Mental health courses click here.

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