Mental health is a big issue, in everyday life as well as in the workplace. Mental health costs employers in the UK around £35 billion each year through staff absenteeism, reduced productivity and staff turnover. Poor mental health can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, background and seniority: from CEO’s through to students on work experience.
Mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can vary in severity but generally speaking, individuals suffering from these conditions can still work – if they are properly supported by their employer. Sometimes, these illnesses stem from issues in the workplace or can be exacerbated through influences in the workplace such as heavy workloads, bullying or victimisation.
Although much has been done to reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health, we still have a long way to go to look at mental health the same way we do at a physical illness. And businesses have a responsibility to do their bit to work towards that goal.
These 4 compelling reasons detail why businesses need to take mental health more seriously:
Having a healthy workforce is in every business’ interest
Not just for financial reasons through improved staff morale, productivity and less time out of the office, but also from a recruitment and talent attraction point of view. After all, everyone wants to work for a company who look after their staff in a range of ways.
Businesses collectively have a greater reach and can use existing resources
With roughly half the overall UK population working, if all businesses took a more proactive approach by encouraging open dialogue and offering the right training and support, the impact could be huge for society overall. Many businesses already have a training schedule in place that mental health could be slotted into.
Prevent further mental health issues from arising
Raising awareness and educating staff about mental health will not only improve your staff wellbeing and therefore benefit your organisation, but in the long term it will also help reduce the social burden on society in general. Prevention and early detection can lead to a quicker diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
The benefits go further than just the workplace
By giving your employees the tools to spot and respond to mental health issues you are also equipping them for life outside of work, to potentially help their brother, friend or acquaintance.
With Alpha Training Safety Solutions’ Adult Mental Health First Aid courses launching in January 2019, trainer Mark Eaves explains why he decided to get accredited in this area:
“As part of my current career as a Firefighter and Technical Rescue Technician, I get to meet people who have mental health issues or are in a mental health crisis, an example being someone who is threatening to attempt suicide. I have also witnessed colleagues who have had mental health issues and been in crisis, within the Fire Service. Having suffered with PTSD when I left the Army, I have first hand experience of the stigma and difficulties there are around mental health.
I strongly believe that it is time to do something positive and give people hope and show them that there is a way through their issue or crisis – it may not be easy or quick but there is hope if they just take that first step and talk to someone, as I did when I was suffering.“
Why not check out our Adult Mental Health First Aid course.
If you are making mental health a priority in your organisation and wish to find out more about our training courses, please contact us on 01903 871381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.