Poor mental health costs UK employers £45bn a year
Deloitte has published figures that show poor mental health costs around £45bn to British businesses over the course of a year.
Over half of working days lost to illness are due to anxiety, stress and depression. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 15.4 million working days in the UK were lost because of mental issues in the 2017/18 period.
Workers in hazardous conditions use PPE (personal protection equipment) to protect themselves in hazardous working conditions. Risks such as falls, operating machinery and working at heights can easily be identified and risk assessed. People employed in banking may not seem to be working in a dangerous environment, but banking employees have a 44% greater risk of suffering stress-related illnesses. One in six bank employees suffers from anxiety, stress or depression.
For the younger generation, most schools have some mental health awareness training. When they leave education and enter the workplace, new recruits will expect their employer to look after their mental wellbeing. There are several ways in which the stigma can be removed from talking about mental health, such as by creating a positive and supportive attitude in the workplace rather than a combative one.
Amy McDonald, the chief executive and the founder of the mental health organisation HeadTorch, which promotes positive mental health at work, suggests:
“Make colleagues know that their views are valued. Start building a culture of trust rather than fear. Staff will thrive — and so will productivity.”