Research finds employers are taking a reactive approach to employees’ mental health problems, but preventative steps make better business sense
Research by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, has revealved that the the number of people saying that they have experienced mental health problems while in employment has climbed from a quarter to a third over the last five years.
Despite this, the majority of employees still don’t feel that people experiencing mental health issues are supported well enough at work.
The CIPD is calling on organisations to take a more preventative approach to employees’ mental wellbeing, encouraging a culture of openness in their workplace and training line managers to provide support for employees.
Readt the CIPD's report, Employee Outlook: Focus on mental health in the workplace 2016.
Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing, at mental health charity Mind, said:
“It’s clear that there’s a high prevalence of mental health problems among employees. It’s good to see more people feeling comfortable enough to let their workplace know when they’re struggling with their mental health, which is likely to be an indication that employers are fostering an open culture where staff feel able to disclose their problems. However, it’s vital that employers also have good support in place for all staff, including those experiencing unmanageable stress or poor mental health. Employees need to be reassured that if they do put their hands up, they’ll be met with understanding, and additional support if necessary.
“Creating mentally healthy workplaces needn’t be difficult or expensive, often it’s about putting in place small adjustments, such as regular communication and flexible working hours. Being able to identify and support a colleague struggling with poor mental health can also make a big difference, which is why Mind delivers mental health awareness training to line managers. We’re also launching a Workplace Wellbeing Index – a benchmark of best policy and practice which will enable employers to recognise the good work they’re doing when it comes to promoting good mental health at work, as well as highlighting areas for improvement."
Mind offers free resources for employers to help improve mental wellbeing and employee engagement. Visit the Workplace section of our website for more information, including tips for employers and staff.