The Importance of Employee Mental Health
Approximately 1 in 4 of us will experience poor mental health in our lifetime, with depression, anxiety disorders and phobias being the most common challenges.
Good mental health and wellbeing is recognised as being fundamental to physical health, relationships, education and training, work, and reaching our potential.
To be best placed to meet the needs of our customers and clients, we need to prioritise our own mental health and wellbeing.
The most recent Government review makes a clear case for the value of improved workplace mental health and wellbeing. The review highlights the financial and human cost of poor mental health at work, with approximately 300,000 employees with mental health difficulties leaving their jobs each year.
Estimated annual costs associated with poor mental health in the workplace:
- Employers – £33-42 billion (lost productivity, sickness and staff turnover)
- Government – £24-27 billion (benefits, reduced tax revenue, NHS)
- UK economy – £74-99 billion (reduced output)
Company responsibilities to promote mental wellness:
- Create a supportive environment to allow employee proactivity to protect and enhance mental health
- Create and develop policies that support a workplace culture that respects a healthy work-life balance
- Monitor employee mental health and wellbeing
- Develop mental health awareness among employees
- Encourage open communication about mental health throughout the workplace
- Promote effective management
- Provide employees with good work conditions and a healthy work life balance
- Implement and develop a mental health plan
- Encourage regular physical activity
- Provide a well balanced and healthy food choice in the canteen in within the office space
- Educate employees on the benefits of a healthy diet for mental wellness
The benefits of good employee mental health:
- Increased happiness and engagement
- Boosted productivity
- Improved skills
- Improved physical health, ability and life expectancy
- Increased social interaction and participation
- Reduced health risk behaviours (smoking, alcohol excess)