Research carried out by a mental health charity suggests that fear amongst employees of speaking about mental health is costly to employers. The research found that more than a fifth of employees who were interviewed had called in sick to work due to stress, and only a third felt able to openly discuss stress with their line manager. Encouragingly, the majority of employers who participated in the research claimed that they would like to do more to improve employee welfare but felt that they were not sufficiently trained.
The Health and Safety Executive has produced guidance to help employers support employees who are experiencing mental health difficulties. The guidance focusses on the provision of training for managers and including mental health training for those appointed as first aiders.
With 15.4 million working days lost in 2017/18, the importance of providing support to employees cannot be underestimated. Law at Work runs 2-day Scottish Mental Health First Aid courses throughout the year. These sessions are always well attended, and our next session in Glasgow in September is fully booked already.