The growing impact of mental health on businesses
Poor mental health can seriously affect workplace wellbeing. A supportive approach can help companies and their talent to perform well everyday.
Mental health issues can be an everyday reality for many people. According to figures from the NHS, one in four adults experience a diagnosable mental illness, such as depression, bi-polar disorder, stress, or anxiety, each year.
These mental health issues affect all aspects of people’s lives and relationships, including their jobs.
According to a 2016 Simplyhealth white paper on mental health issues in the workplace, nearly half (43%) of HR professionals reported the overall level of employee mental health in their organisations has deteriorated over the past two years.
Unfortunately, employees suffering from mental health issues often hide their condition because mental ill health has long been considered a stigma in the workplace, worsening mental health.
According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Absence Management Survey 2016, in partnership with Simplyhealth, mental ill health and stress are among the most common causes for both short and long-term absence from work.
An increased awareness of mental health issues means employers are starting to understand that employees’ mental health can fluctuate in the same way physical health does. Just as anyone can break a leg, have asthma or get cancer, any of us can develop depression or experience the symptoms of anxiety.
The most recent government figures tell us that mental health issues (including stress, depression, anxiety and serious conditions) resulted in 15.8 million sick days in 2016.
However, the true scale of absence caused by poor mental health is unknown, both because of the perceived stigma and the complexity of conditions.
With our health plan, Optimise, your clients have access to the myWellbeing portal that allows employees to manage their health online.
Included in myWellbeing is an employee assistance programme with up to six structured counselling sessions (per person, per issue, per year) by telephone. To access the face to face counselling, clients will need to select the ‘enhanced’ version of Optimise.
Members also have remote access to a GP service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Early intervention can give employees help with their mental health when it’s needed most, providing coping strategies to prevent a slide into long-term illness.