Mind comments on new mental health in the workplace report
Posted Monday 4 June 2007
Mental health charity Mind commented today on a new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development which shows that mental illness is now the second largest reason for UK workers taking time off sick.
Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
"This report shows that mental health is everybody's business. It's up to employers, employees and the Government to recognise the need to take mental health in the workplace seriously. There has been positive progress in recent years with Disability Discrimination legislation, but more needs to be done to highlight the business benefits of supporting employees who experience mental health problems."
Economically, it makes more sense for organisations to support current employees than to recruit and train new ones, who, without proper systems in place, may well also become stressed.
Mind recommends that businesses take the following key actions to promote a mentally healthy work environment:
- Raise awareness, encourage understanding and promote openness in relation to mental health in the workplace.
- Adopt and adhere to formal policies on stress and mental health in the workplace and commit to addressing both issues.
- Allow employees to make reasonable adjustments to their working life for example by offering flexi-time hours, working from home or quiet rooms to help them to manage mental health problems and work related stress issues.
- Offer resources or procedures to help manage stress at work and generally improve mental wellbeing, for example, stress awareness training, access to counselling or stress busting initiatives.