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Mental health at work

From 14th – 20th May the Mental Health Organisation are holding Mental Health Awareness Week, with the focus being on stress.

With 1 in 6.8 people experiencing mental health problems in the workplace and evidence suggesting that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK are attributed to mental health conditions, isn’t it time there was more of a focus on the prevention of mental health at work?


Offering mental health or wellbeing days

With research from Mind Charity and YouGov showing that one in five (19%) people have taken a day off sick because of stress, is it time to make mental health, personal or otherwise known as wellbeing days more openly available to employees?

With the average Brit spending over 92,000 hours at work during their lifetime we believe that by tackling problems such as stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace it could improve mental health amongst employees.

If it is important for employees to regularly contribute high-impact, high-quality work, it is equally as important that they have flexible, paid time to contribute to their whole health and wellness. Offering personal days not only benefits employees, giving them opportunities to recharge, it also benefits the businesses, potentially minimising mistakes and accidents. The Mental Health Foundation, for example, offers staff three mental health days per year in addition to annual leave. They also found that better mental health support in the workplace can actually save UK businesses up to £8 billion per year.

Talking more openly about it

Of those one in five people who have taken a day off sick because of stress, the vast majority (90%) gave their employer a different reason for their absence, such as an upset stomach (44%) or a headache (7%). While some workers felt comfortable to talk about mental health just 11% of those surveyed felt able to disclose a mental health issue to their line manager.

Mind says: “It depends on the relationship you have with your manager, but if you have a good relationship and trust them, you could meet them one to one to discuss what’s going on. If you’re thinking of opening up about your mental health for the first time, also think about where you want the meeting to take place.”

Take a look at the The Mental Health Organisations resources to see how you can talk openly about mental health in your workplace.

Looking for some ways to de-stress the working conditions and environment in the office? Take a look at our blog 4 WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS AT WORK