Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. The overall number of people suffering with mental health issues hasn’t changed dramatically in recent years however, jobs, money and personal circumstances can make it difficult for people to cope and deal with their mental health.
Each year, mental ill health costs employers £30 billion in the UK. This is due to an increase in absences relating to mental health, yet a decrease in production and recruitment. If employers don’t change their approach to mental health in the workplace, it is very likely the costs will continue to rise.
There is still a lack of understanding about mental health and misperceptions occur in the workplace. Managers should be trained so they know how to manage employees suffering with mental ill health. This will give employees confidence that their managers will be able to support them in the best way possible.
This shows the importance of informing and making the workforce aware of mental health. Staff need to know what support is available to them and their colleagues if anyone is suffering with mental ill health.
It’s important to consider what can cause mental ill health in a business. Employers should do this before promoting a supportive culture because it eliminates any contributing factors to mental ill health. Information such as staff performance, sickness absence and staff turnover should be analysed to identify what improvements need to be made to the business. Employers should also ask staff members what they think can be improved or implemented to the organisation to promote positive mental health in the workplace.
Changing a workplace culture to promote positive mental health won’t happen overnight. It will take time and management should start by encouraging open communication between the workforce. This is beneficial because it helps to normalise the subject of mental health in the workplace.
Employers need to be made aware that promoting positive mental health in the workplace will increase an employee’s productivity. This means their employees’ performance will improve and they will be motivated to work hard. If employees are motivated, their attendance levels will be high, resulting in lower absence levels.
Employees are more likely to communicate and interact well with their colleagues if there is a positive approach to mental health in the workplace. This will help to prevent workplace disputes and will encourage a harmonious working environment. If an employee is absent from work for a long period of time, it is more than likely they will stay at the business knowing they can be supported with their mental ill health.
If you need any support or guidance in promoting positive mental health in the workplace, please contact a member of the HPC team:
T: 0844 800 5932