A new report, Thriving at Work, published today (26 October) reveals that the UK is facing a much larger mental health challenge at work than initially thought.
Back in January, Theresa May announced a series of mental health reforms in the UK, including this independent review by Mind’s chief executive, Paul Farmer, and the mental health campaigner and a former HBOS chair, Dennis Stevenson.
The aim of Thriving at Work was to look into how employers can better support the mental health of all people currently in employment, including those with mental health problems or poor well-being, to remain in and thrive through work.
Findings from the study bring our attention to the fact that mental health is still a taboo subject in the workplace and underneath this stigma, the UK faces a significant mental health challenge at work.
The extent of the lack of support in the workplace for those with mental health conditions has been revealed by the report and backed up with some staggering statistics.
Thriving at Work Statistics
- 300,000 people with a long-term mental health conditions lose their jobs each year
- The annual cost to the UK economy of poor mental health is up to £99bn
- People forced to stop work as a result of mental health problems was 50% higher than for those with physical health conditions
- 11% of employees discussed a recent mental health problem with their line manager
As part of the review, the report has issued a recommendation that all employers, regardless of size or industry, should adopt six ‘mental health core standards’. This framework is for a set of actions that can be implemented quickly.
Six Mental Health Core Standards
- 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.
In addition to recommendations for employers, the reports also sets targeted recommendations for public sector and government.
The comprehensive report outlines why workplace mental health should now be a priority for organisations across the UK, as well as statistics and recommendations, it looks at costs, key facts and transparency as well as examples of good practice and reasons for optimism. To read the full report go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/thriving-at-work-a-review-of-mental-health-and-employers
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