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Supporting Mental Health at Work

DC
BY Douglas Cameron
Health & Safety

Mental health problems are common in the workplace and it is the leading cause of sickness absence. A staggering 70 million workdays are lost each year due to mental health problems in the UK, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year.

A new survey of 2,000 workers which was commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation for World Mental Health Day (Tuesday 10th October) has revealed that 38% of British workers wouldn’t talk openly about a mental health problem for fear it would affect their job prospects or job security.

The survey also polled 1,000 managers and found that almost a quarter said there is no established protocol or procedure to follow if staff have concerns about their mental health. 

The Mental Health Foundation's checklist for employers includes:

  • Training opportunities for line managers on how to support staff with mental health problems as well as stress management across the board
  • Reasonable adjustments to a person's work pattern to remove barriers and allow them to stay in work
  • Mental health embedded in company policies which recognise the mental health needs and wellbeing of staff
  • Senior leaders responsible for leading mental health activities, such as mental health awareness sessions, with all managers engaged in the activity
  • Regular staff surveys to build data about staff mental health, using findings to plan and deliver action and inform workplace policies
  • Encourage staff to report discrimination or harassment they face and to blow the whistle on discrimination they witness
  • Endorse national and local anti-stigma initiatives like See Me.

Why not contact our Elaine Masson@lawatwork.co.uk,  to discuss training needs you may consider necessary in your business.  Through her interest in employee wellbeing, Elaine has developed mental health awareness training for clients and is a recognized Scottish Mental Health First Aid trainer. Elaine is a Chartered Fellow of the C.I.P.D and a registered workplace mediator. 

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