According to The Independent, a third of the UK workforce is experiencing depression, stress or anxiety. Despite these shockingly high figures, a significant number of people are reluctant to discuss mental health issues with their employer because of concerns of the impact this could have upon future career prospects.
The figures above demonstrate that a huge number of the British workforce are experiencing poor mental health. But it’s important to point out that we all have mental health. 100% of us. Sometimes things go wrong in our working lives or personal lives and this can have an impact. When it comes to mental health, it really is everybody’s business.
According to a recent report companies that do address mental health issues appear to see a pay off with three times as much profit.
Taking account of staff wellbeing is the duty of any responsible employer
With 17 million work days being lost in the UK alone, due to poor mental health, (2015) it can be seen why it should be in the interest of any employer to invest in improving the mental health and wellbeing of their staff. However, motives should go far beyond cost. It is the duty of any responsible employer to take account of staff wellbeing.
Improving awareness through training
So what would this look like? For starters, it is about awareness. Training in mental health can help employers and employees gain a better idea of what poor mental health looks like and how to make it better. Training can help look at the individual workplace and how to make it more mentally healthy – such as by looking at current practices and considering how they might be improved.
From this point of awareness comes communication and support. Once people begin to be more aware of what mental health is and how it can impact, conversations can start to take place on both an individual level and organisational level. This helps people feel more supported and helps address some of the broader, cultural issues that might be affecting the mental health of a workplace as a whole.
In addition, employers needn’t feel that they need to be counsellors. There are plenty of services organisations can link into to gain advice and support.
For further advice or to book Blackdog in for training or consultation around workplace wellbeing drop Blackdog a line here.