Mental health in the workplace
According to the HSE, one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem at some point; some kind of issue affecting how they think and feel, and therefore, behave. Common problems are anxiety and depression and work can be a factor.
The CIPD’s 2019 Health and Wellbeing at Work report found that almost three-fifths of organisations have seen an increase in anxiety, depression and other common mental health conditions among employees. In fact, the top two causes of long-term absence due to illness were mental ill health (59%) and stress (54%).
So, what can you do?
A responsible employer (not to mention, an employer that wants to consistently get the best performance from its employees) considers the issue of employee health, and that includes mental health. To return again to the recent CIPD report, there are several suggestions for employer support:
- Encouraging wider awareness of mental health issues at work, including open discussion (of the topic in general and not individual cases!)
- Facilitating access to counselling services.
- Training managers in how to support employees with mental ill health (including how to conduct sensitive discussions and where to point staff who need support).
- Resilience training for employees and managers.
- Providing occupational health services.
- Appointing ‘mental health & wellbeing champions’ to support initiatives and spot potential issues (a kind of mental health early warning radar).
If you’re wondering where to start looking for information and advice, the ACAS framework is a comprehensive place to begin, and there are many training courses out there that focus on promoting good mental health in the workplace.
To find out how our packages on stress, resilience & mental toughness, key issues for HR professionals, and wellbeing programmes might fit your training needs, give us a call on 01582 463460. We’re here to help!