Reasons why positive mental wellbeing at work should be a 2018 priority

Apr 2018
News, Occupational Health

As we enter the fourth month of the year, many of us will have gone through mixed emotions, of starting and possibly failing, our New Year’s Resolutions already. Many of us have gone through the Blue Monday phase and even fell off the wagon for dry January.

This is why all employers, irrespective of size or industry, must adopt fundamental principles for a framework to address mental health wellbeing in the workplace efficiently and quickly.

At the top of a mental wellbeing, wish-list should be a wide-ranging and inclusive plan ensuring your organisation is at the forefront of the preparations working to address mental health issues in the workplace, and acting efficiently in support of employees who are dealing with them while they are at work.

To help employers with this, the government recently published the Stevenson/Farmer report; ‘Thriving at Work’ which examines these issues in detail.

The report estimated that 15% of employees exhibit symptoms of a mental health condition and that around 300,000 employees with long-term mental health issues lose their jobs every year, at an ominously higher rate than those with physical health concerns.

Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, the report’s authors, call on employers, irrespective of size or industry, to embrace six core standards in mental health care that would lay the fundamentals for and create a framework to address concerns in the workplace effectively and efficiently.

6 Core Standards

  • producing, implementing and communicating a Mental Health at Work plan
  • developing mental health awareness
  • encouraging open conversations about mental health and the support available
  • providing good working conditions with a healthy work-life balance and opportunities to develop
  • utilising line managers and supervisors to promote effective people management
  • routinely monitoring employee mental health and wellbeing

The Stevenson/Farmer report highlights, both at work and at home, the important human cost of poor mental health awareness, which can – at its worst – lead to suicide.

There is a large annual cost to employers and the government too, according to Deloitte:

  • between £33 billion and £42 billion to employers (with over half of the cost coming from presenteeism – when individuals are less productive due to poor mental health in work) with additional costs from sickness absence and staff turnover
  • between £24 billion and £27 billion costs to government in providing benefits fall in tax revenue and costs to the NHS
  • the cost of poor mental health to the economy as a whole is more than both of those together from the lost output, at between £74 billion and £99 billion per year

The report’s recommendations are mainly focused on providing ways to improve this situation for employees. There are many clear benefits for organisations and companies to embrace the findings.

If you are looking to promote positive mental health in the workplace, then get contact us today to discuss your Occupational Health needs.

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