3 Reasons why Mental Health should be on an employer's radar

30 May 2017

Mental Health is a growing concern in today's workplace - gaining regular coverage in the news and media.

Psychological illness is now the number one cause of absence in the UK, with one in every four workers experiencing depression, anxiety, or stress at any one time.  It's a problem businesses simply can't afford to ignore.

Why Mental Health is a problem for employers

We know that, in many businesses across the UK, people are working at the same time as managing more complex mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and phobias.  We also know that many people with conditions such as these can struggle to find work - and staying in work is difficult if they are not well supported.

So it's no surprise that, increasingly, employers feel an obligation to be aware of the effects of mental health on their staff and also look out for the warning signs.  Even today, many cases of mental health go unrecognised until it is too late, potentially having a devastating impact on employees and the workplace as a whole.

In fact ...

1.  Every year, 70 million working days are lost due to mental health*.  Whether this is due to sickness absence, loss of productivity or presenteeism - this is a statistic that employers just cannot afford to ignore

2.  About 30% of all GP consultations are related to a mental health problem*.  Mental ill health is more common than you'd think, so it's important to be aware of the signs and how to address this sensitive subject with an employee

3.  Mental Health is still a taboo subject in the workplace.  Many employees feel scared, embarrassed or unable to talk about mental health concerns with their line manager or employer.  In fact, mental health, just like physical health, can be improved through simple yet effective steps.

Source:  Unum

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