People shouldn’t have to battle depression on their own. Nor should they be left alone to fight anxiety. Our clinically led pathway, Stronger Minds, makes sure we're on hand to intervene early if your employees need support with their mental health.
Thriving at work1 – a major report on mental health and employers, commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May – has highlighted the impact of mental ill health in the workplace. It’s called on employers to rise to the challenge of addressing one of the biggest issues affecting the performance and productivity of workers in the UK today.
Its authors – mental health campaigner Lord Denis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind and chair of the NHS Mental Health Taskforce – show that poor mental health costs employers between £33bn and £42bn a year. This is in addition to an estimated £37bn to £52bn cost to the economy in lost output and £25bn cost to the government due to reduced tax intake, NHS treatment costs and ill-health related welfare payments.
In March 2017 Deloitte released their paper, ‘Workplace mental health and wellbeing - at a tipping point?’2 where they highlighted the following five key implementation challenges for employers when considering their mental health strategy:
- Failure to see mental health and wellbeing as a priority
- Mental health and wellbeing policies are reactive and driven by staff events or experience
- Lack of insight around current performance
- Poor evidence base to measure return on investment of wellbeing strategies
- Lack of collective knowledge around best practice.
Both in Stevenson-Farmer’s Independent Review and in our experience we see hugely positive trends with employers increasing their focus on mental health. Many companies provide valuable services such as Employee Assistance Programmes, Occupational Health and wellbeing initiatives. Yet it’s time to take stock and critique our strategies to best support:
- Employee awareness
- Encourage higher utilisation of available support
- Better integrate multiple services to support case management
- Do more to prevent the onset of mental ill health and build resilience
- Seek to provide a strategy which supports all stages of mental health.
The company isn’t the only one that pays for poor mental health
The human costs of poor mental health are also steep – not only are individuals with long-term mental health disorders much less likely to find work, an estimated 300,000 lose their jobs every year. The problem is growing – according to the UK Labour Force Survey, the number of sick days taken due to mental health problems increased from 13.0m days in 2010 to 15.8m days in 2016, accounting for nearly I in 8 of all work days lost to ill health3.