Mental Health in the Workplace
The UK faces a significant mental health challenge at work. While there are more people at work with mental health conditions than ever before, 300,000 people with a long term mental health problem lose their jobs each year, and at a much higher rate than those with physical health conditions. Behind this, analysis shows that around 15% of people at work have symptoms of an existing mental health condition. The human cost is huge, with poor mental health having an impact on the lives of many individuals and those around them.
Using evidence from an independent study on the cost to employers commissioned from Deloitte, we know that there is a large annual cost to employers of between £33 billion and £42 billion (with over half of the cost coming from presenteeism – when individuals are less productive due to poor mental health in work) with additional costs from sickness absence and staff turnover. Costs are broken down as follows; absence £7.9bn, presenteeism, range is from £17bn to £26bn and turnover £7.9bn There are good estimates to suggest that dependent on sector the cost per individual per annum is The cost of poor mental health to the economy from lost output is between £74 billion and £99 billion per year. The average cost per employee is around £1.5K per annum, with the public sector averaging highest, but other industries finance insurance, professional services, transport and communication paying hefty price per employee.
It could be argued that these costs are the “normal” cost of being alive and doing business, but evidence suggests strongly that this is not the case. Deloitte’s analysis of the case studies where investments have been made in improving mental health show a consistently positive return on investment, a finding which is bolstered by a number of academic meta-studies which demonstrate the benefits of good work for mental health and key workplace enablers. The Lancet has recently published findings from a study in the Australian Fire Service which found that a manager mental health training programme could lead to a significant reduction in work-related sickness absence, with an associated return on investment of £9.98 for each pound spent on such training. This is borne out by conversations in the UK, and more locally by our own interactions with large and small businesses, with over 200 organisations, which have uncovered a number of successful investments, activities and approaches in improving the mental health of employees.
“ Many employers are already creating healthy, inclusive workplaces, but more needs to be done so that employers provide the support needed for employees with mental health conditions. Prime Minister Theresa May, January 2017 ”
This one day course aims to support managers to build on their skills to better manage mental health in the workplace. The emphasis is on the practical steps that can be taken to manage and improve mental well-being at work. The course has been successfully delivered to over 10k Line Managers and has been independently evaluated to demonstrate increased skills, confidence and better understanding of managing mental health at work.
By the end of the training participants will be able to:
- Understand the generic and specific skills line managers need to support and manage staff members with a mental health condition
- Understand the facts relating to mental health at work and awareness of the scope of the issue and cost to employers
- Recognise and address early signs of stress, distress and mental health conditions at work
- Recognise altered thoughts, behaviour, physical health and feelings when mentally unwell and likely effects on the workplace
- Understand how to engage with employees who are reluctant to talk
- Develop practical strategies to support staff through effective sickness absence management and return to work
- Develop practical strategies to help employees retain their employment and carry out their role effectively
- Maintain mentally healthy practices in the workplace and better manage mental health at work