21/11/2018

Mental Health Awareness

In conjunction with Northern Powerhouse Consulting, the mental health half day awareness course can be used as a refresher or awareness sessions for those wanting to know more about this area but let’s press pause and look at some of the statistics.

  • One in six workers suffer from anxiety, depression and unmanageable stress each year.
  • 74% of people with a mental health problem for more than a year are out of work.
  • 55% of those with depression or anxiety for more than a year are out of work.
  • 49% of workers would not be comfortable disclosing a mental health issue at work.
  • In 2015, 18 million days were lost to sickness absence caused by mental health conditions.
  • Those with a severe and enduring mental illness are exposed to premature mortality rates of up to 15-20 years.

Mental health seems to have been accepted into the mainstream dialogue with more people raising awareness of their own stories about mental health.  However, employers can benefit on many levels on focussing on their own internal approach to mental wellbeing. Understanding the benefits to a positive workplace culture, increasing knowledge and drawing on external expertise and resources to support their journey.

What is the impact of mental illness in the workplace?

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental illness each year. In 2016, 15.8 million UK work days were lost due to mental illness.

The largest causes of sickness absence for our county’s workforce is depression, stress, and anxiety. Mental illness costs UK businesses around £35 billion every year, this equates to £10.6 billion lost to sickness absence, £21.2 billion in reduced productivity, and £3.1 billion in substituting staff members who vacate their roles due to mental illness.

Why does an employer’s duty of care include staff mental health?

Employers have a legal duty of care to ensure that employees are provided with a safe working environment and must take reasonable care to prevent personal injury (including mental or physical harm) that may arise in the workplace. Mental health is also classed as a disability which means there is protection under The Equality Act 2010.

What are the business consequences of ignoring mental health in the workplace?

Someone with poor mental health may not realise it and even if they do, they may be reluctant to seek help, or might not know where to turn for care. In the workplace, there is still a great deal of ignorance around mental health issues, including uncertainty about how to recognise mental illness, and uncertainty about how to react when faced with it. This means that those in need of mental health help and support do not receive it.

When left uninformed, managers and co-workers may unwittingly exhibit stigmatising behaviours, which can be detrimental to a person experiencing a mental health issue. Furthermore, by failing to respond appropriately to an employee with a mental health issue, an organisation may open itself to a claim for compensation. This could be lengthy, expensive, and take precious time away from managers and staff.

Course Outline:

  • Statistics
  • Wellbeing interventions
  • Spotting signs of mental health
  • Managing staff
  • Return to work and reasonable adjustments
  • Best practice