mental health

Mental ill health costs employers in the UK £30 billion every year through lost production, recruitment and absence. Promoting positive mental health in your workplace can therefore be hugely beneficial. Staff with good mental health are more likely to perform well, have good attendance levels and be engaged in their work. Additionally, taking steps to better support the mental health of staff can help to reduce the severity, duration and quantity of mental ill health in the workplace.

There is still a lack of understanding about mental health and misperceptions persist. It is often thought to be a sign of weakness, which it is not. A better understanding of mental health at work is therefore important because:

  • mental ill health is very common - the Government's Department of Health advises that one in four of us will experience it at some point in our lives
  • staff with positive mental health are more likely to work productively, interact well with colleagues and adapt to changes in the workplace
  • staff supported by their employer are more likely to be able to stay in work or return to work after a period of absence, reducing long-term absences in the organisation
  • staff who feel unable to talk to their manager may attend work when they are too ill to safely carry out their duties, which could be a health and safety risk
  • if mental ill health is not treated, the pressures of it can cause other 'secondary symptoms'. For example, the strain of coping with depression may cause someone to become dependent on alcohol or drugs.

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