Mental health in the workplace: what, why and how?

The topic of mental health in the workplace is increasing in importance across the UK. A recent review finds that poor mental health costs the UK economy between £74 billion and £99 billion every year, with employers facing an annual cost of £33 billion to £42 billion.

There is also an undeniable human cost. Mental ill health can severly impair a person’s ability to work and may even lead to job loss – a figure estimated by the Department of Work and Pensions at 300,000 people a year. It can impact a person’s personal life, their relationships with others and can contribute to a greater risk of certain physical health problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Most tragically, it can lead to suicide, something which takes the lives of over x3 times the number of people who die in road traffic accidents each year in Great Britain (1,792 road traffic fatalities, 5,668 reported suicides).

Thriving at Work, the recently published Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers, has received much publicity for its detailed analysis of the cost of poor mental health in the workplace. On a practical level, the review provides recommendations – and 6 ‘mental health core standards’ – for employers wishing to support their employees, enabling them to remain in and thrive at work.

These six mental health core standards are:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan;
  • Develop mental health awareness among employees;
  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling;
  • Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work life balance and opportunities for development;
  • Promote effective people management through line managers and supervisors;
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing.

Complicit in achieving these standards is the reduction in stigma and increase in awareness about mental health, stress, and what we can do to support those around us. This is where you can benefit from the consultancy services provided by Emma Wilson | Training and Consultancy. From designing and delivering bespoke workshops on specific subjects such as mindfulness, the impact of technology and an understanding of the physiological changes that take place in the brain, to a comprehensive introduction to mental health, Emma’s approach uses a combination of informative, evidence-based research with practical, actionable tools and advice that can be incorporated into daily living.

As a London professional in her late 20s, with both personal and professional experience of living and working with mental health problems, Emma is able to provide a pragmatic and holistic approach to managing the mental wellbeing of yourself and others. With a background in policy, research, youth engagement and higher education, she is also well-versed in the problems voiced by today’s generation – and tomorrow’s workforce.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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