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Counting the Cost – Mental Health at Work

Published: 07/12/2017

Counting the Cost – Mental Health at Work

Thriving at Work is a new report commissioned by the government to look at what employers can do to better support all employees, including those with mental health problems to remain in and thrive through work.

Its detailed analysis explores the significant cost of poor mental health to UK businesses and the economy as a whole. Mental health problems costs employers between £33 billion and £42 billion a year, with an annual cost to the UK economy of between £74 billion and £99 billion.

The review quantifies how investing in supporting mental health at work is good for business and productivity. 

The authors – Mind Chief Executive, Paul Farmer, and the mental health campaigner and a former HBOS Chair, Dennis Stevenson – said they were shocked to find the number of people forced to stop work as a result of mental health problems was 50% higher than for those with physical health conditions.

Farmer said the evidence suggested it is still a taboo subject in many workplaces. “The picture is that there are very significant numbers of people in work with mental health problems but there are significant numbers who are not,” he said.

“We think that the reasons for that are a combination of a lack of support, lack of understanding within some workplaces and a lack of speedy access to mental health services. Sometimes in organisations people feel themselves excluded as a result of their mental health issues and sometimes people don’t necessarily spot that somebody is struggling.” 

The authors felt that the challenge was bigger than they envisaged when first commissioned by the government, but with action dramatic changes could be achieved over the next 10 years. They said they hoped that the number of people with long-term mental health problems who lose their jobs could be reduced to the same level as those with physical conditions.

They found that about 15% of people at work have symptoms of an existing mental health condition, which they said illustrates the fact that given the right support they can thrive in employment.

Farmer described the economic case as overwhelming and the authors link current failures to the UK’s relatively poor productivity. An analysis by Deloitte examining existing workplace interventions identified potential to generate a return to business from £1.50 to £9 for every £1 invested. 

Thriving at Work is asking employers to adopt 6 ‘mental health core standards’ that lay basic foundations for an approach to workplace mental health.

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

The government wants all employers, irrespective of size or industry to adopt these standards.

If this feels like a somewhat daunting proposition for you as a business owner, help is at hand:

Introducing Rush Collective

Rush Collective is a training consultancy who can provide tailor made staff training programmes and support strategies to help you achieve your organisational goals. They specialise in wellbeing, leadership and team development training.

Their staff wellbeing programmes focus on resilience, stress management, emotional intelligence, engagement, nutrition, movement, cultivating happiness, motivation, mindfulness, mental health and creating a positive workplace culture. Leadership training workshops cover; authority, confidence, self-awareness, decision making, developing talent, emotional intelligence, building a vision, communication and collaboration.

As well as a number of set programmes, Rush Collective can produce events and workshops tailored specifically for you. They are made up of a team of expert trainers who are hand-selected depending on your requirements.

Having worked with Rush Collective for a number of years, Flint Insurance would like to introduce their services to our own commercial clients.

For more information about their Flagship Wellbeing Programme and other events/services log-on to their website here: 

http://rushcollective.co.uk/ or contact them on 0203 637 7417.  

Thriving at Work Review


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