Do employers do enough to aid with mental health concerns?

Post by: Laura Hamilton 25/06/2018 0 comments 199 views

1 in 6 UK workers are affected by anxiety or depression every year whilst 60% of individuals do not feel their employer deals with mental health effectively.

Stress can be a common occurrence within the workplace and it is important to manage this effectively in order that it does not progress further and cause other issues.

Panic attacks, anxiety and headaches are all effects of unaddressed stress and are much harder to manage and control once they manifest.

It may be possible that the cause of the stress or mental health relapse is one which is not related to a person’s role however, work may exacerbate the issues or contribute towards the feelings. The ‘Business in the Community’s National Employee Mental Wellbeing’ survey in 2016 found that mental health issues and work, for many of the 19,000 respondents who were questioned, were very closely linked. This survey noted:

  1. 77% of employees have experienced symptoms of poor mental health at some point in their lives.

  2. 29% of employees have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

  3. 62% of employees attributed their symptoms of poor mental health to work or said that work was a contributing factor.

  4. 60% of board members and senior managers believe their organisation supports people with mental health issues although only 11% of employees had discussed a recent mental health problem with their line manager.

  5. Half of employees say they would not discuss mental health with their line manager.

  6. 63% of line managers feel they have to put corporate interests before employee wellbeing.

  7. 35% of employees did not approach anyone for support the last time they experienced poor mental health.

Although the root cause of the problems may not be related to work, any employer does owe their employee a duty of care to assist in order that good mental health is achieved.

Many employers are now in fact encouraging their employees to take a ‘mental health day’ whereby, they specifically focus on improving their mental health and eradicating any issues. This therefore, allows employers to continue to assist their employees with minimising stress.

The most important factor however, is that as an employee, realistic approaches are taken to manage stress and mental health concerns before they develop.

Encouraging employees to talk about their problems, discussing and highlighting a healthy work/life balance, promoting activities outside of work and being flexible when employee’s exhibit mental health issues are some very simple ways to improve the mental health effects on employees.

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