Whilst we have seen some progress in recent times, for many, mental health in the workplace still remains a “taboo” subject. Starting a conversation about mental health or making changes in the workplace does not have to be difficult. The Mental Health Foundation states a staggering 70 million work days are lost each year to mental health problems, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year. Evidence suggests amongst those in full time work, this affects nearly twice as many women (19.8%) than men (10.9%).

What is really important is organisations take responsibility for the mental health of their staff. Follow these four steps to improve performance, increase well-being and reduce absence – all through caring and supporting employees.

  • Culture

Creating an organisational culture where employees feel comfortable to talk about mental health issues.

  • Training

Appointing and educating ‘Ambassadors’ (e.g. line managers) to help spot and discuss potential issues with colleagues. Training and education is vital to ensure ambassadors know how to spot and guide those who need support. This education can also be taken out of the workplace, and can help employees who might have a family member or friend in need.

  • Treatment

Counselling and treatment for mental health conditions can be found through various company schemes including EAP’s, PMI and cash plans. Companies cannot always afford the most comprehensive cover for everyone but there are some low cost options available. Support is also available from the NHS and various charities. Do you know the extent of cover your company has and where best to direct employees who need support?

  • Reintegration

Put in place a return to work process. Reintegration at work and with colleagues is a vital step to recovery. Be sure not to tread on eggshells and help those returning by having a proper programme in place. Setting too little work can be as bad as acting as if nothing has happened.

At Prosperis we track the pioneering research and innovative strategies coming from international experts. We attend seminars, speak to providers, charities and those working in the NHS to find the best strategies for our clients. We can analyse your current cover, identify any gaps and discuss ways to improve your mental health programme.

We can even help with online delivery and communication platforms to help make the entire health and wellbeing process easy and inexpensive. For any Corporate Clients Prosperis will be pleased to arrange a discovery meeting without cost or obligation to understand your structure and share some ideas with you.

For more information, please contact: Terry Mansell on tcm@prosperis.co.uk

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