Around four out of ten employers have no guidelines in place to help managers deal with mental health issues.
A CIPD Health and Well-Being at Work report in 2019 says that just 9% of employers have a standalone mental health policy for employees, and this report also highlights that mental health training is offered by less than half of companies for their workforce.
And so it’s quite clear we need to do more, but the good news is that talking about mental health in the workplace is no longer a taboo subject.
Mental health is a broad term that can cover many different conditions, such as anxiety, depression, OCD or PTSD. Each sufferer will need a different treatment and so it’s important for companies to seek trained professional help to go into the workforce to audit the wellbeing to find out the best solutions.
Employees come in all shapes and sizes and they all experience stress in different ways. Age is a factor in how people open up about this, with younger workers being more willing to talk about these issues, and older staff preferring the ‘just get on with it’ method. Eventually these issues do catch up, so it’s vital to get in early to make the diagnosis and find the right solutions.
But not everybody wants to talk openly about their mental heath, particularly at work in front or colleagues or bosses who may use the information against an employee. That’s why it’s so important to get buy in from the senior team to be sure staff can talk freely about their issues.
There is so much evidence now to show this is a major issue for industry, and there is more we can all do, but there is also some evidence that staff higher up in a company are now starting to take issue around mental health in the work place more seriously.
Attitudes are changing that the top, with more and more board rooms now recognising that the mental health of their employees is not just a moral issue for them, but is one that can affect the bottom line if staff take days or even weeks off for stress or other mental health issues.
A shocking 70 million working days a year are being lost due to poor metal health, and it has become a clear and pressing problem that business knows it must now address.
Firms can tackle this in many ways. It could start in the canteen by making it easier to access healthy and nutritious food. If there are the resources, the firm could provide a gym or time off for staff to exercise. But it is much better to provide professional training to diagnose problems and develop long lasting strategies to deal with the,
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