The Importance of Supporting Good Mental Health in the Workplace

Monday saw Mental Health Awareness day take place, which is a day to educate and raise awareness of mental Illness and the effects it has on those around us. Over half of workers (53.2%) report that stress is an issue for them in their current workplace according to research carried out by CV-Library to coincide with National Work Week.

The top causes of work place stress given by those asked were;

  • Bad management – 65.8%
  • Low morale within the workplace – 38.1%
  • Unfriendly colleagues – 35.7%
  • Heavy workloads – 34.1%
  • Long working hours – 29.3%
  • Poor work/life balance – 25.5%

Worryingly 89% of workers surveyed think that being susceptible to stress at work can have a negative impact on their career progression. The recently published Mental Health at Work Report also showed there is lack of knowledge and awareness amongst employers.

It goes without saying that good physical and mental health and wellbeing of employees are essential to the ongoing success of a company.

According to the Mental Health Foundation over 70 million working days are lost each year due to poor mental health. This includes everything from symptoms of anxiety and stress to the more complex mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

So what can employers do to ensure they are supporting good mental health and awareness in the workplace? The Mental Health at Work Report (2016), suggests that employers can take the following calls to action;

1. Talk

Break the culture of silence that surrounds mental health by taking the Time to Change employers pledge.

2. Train

Invest in basic mental health literacy for all employees and first aid training in mental health to support Line Manager capability.

3. Take action

Close the gap by asking all staff about their experiences in order to identify the disconnect that exist in the organisation between what you are committed to and what you employees are experiencing.

You can find out more about the Mental Health Report here and access the Mental Health tool kit for employers here .