Today marks the beginning of mental health awareness week, a crucial week to discuss the ongoing impact that mental health can have on the economy and wider society beyond.
Back in 2017, the Stevenson-Farmer ‘Thriving at Work’ report from found that up to 300,000 people per year with long-term mental health problems lose their job, and it was estimated that up to 15% of people at work have symptoms of an existing mental health condition.
Over the course of the pandemic, these figures have worsened: the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that levels of life satisfaction, happiness and the sense that the things we do are worthwhile have all fallen dramatically since March of 2020.
Meanwhile, the cost to companies cannot be underestimated. A study commissioned by Deloitte investigated the knock-on effects of decreased mental health in the workplace and discovered some worrying trends, including:
- Employers incur costs of between £53 to 56 billion per annum
Annual costs have increased by up to 25% from 2019, a number no doubt exacerbated by the pandemic, totalling to over 2.6% of the UK’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Approximately two-thirds of these costs are down to ‘presenteeism’ – people attending work but underperforming due to poor mental health – with the remainder down to sickness absence and staff turnover. Simply put, people with mental health problems are less likely to attend work, less likely to perform at work and less likely to want to continue with their jobs.
- Employers see a return of £5.30 for every £1 invested in staff mental health
Employers can go quite some way toward alleviating some of the colossal financial strain that can come about through poor mental health. This can be achieved by methods such as screening, training, a general awareness of mental health issues as well as targeted interventions and the offer of personal therapy. So many incidences of poor mental health come about simply through a lack of training and knowledge.
- The ‘Great Resignation’
Deloitte’s survey found that nearly a third of employees (28%) either intentionally left their job in the past year or have planned to do so. Analysts suggest that one of the major reasons for this is job insecurity as a result of the pandemic, yet 61% of respondents suggested that the primary factor was poor mental health. The costs of labour turnover for mental health related reasons have risen sharply, from £8.6 billion in 2019 to £22.4 billion in 2021 – an increase in excess of 150%.
- 52% of employees feel that they are not supported at work in their mental health
Just over one in two employees suggested that they did not receive adequate mental health support from their superiors. Although this is taken from the period of September 2020 to August 2021, it shows a worrying lack of training for upper management.
Managing partner for people and purpose at Deloitte UK, Jackie Henry, stated: “Wellbeing must become a strategic priority for organisations of every size – not only to support employees experiencing anxiety and stress, but also to prevent people from becoming overwhelmed and overworked in the first place. Covid-19 has given us an opportunity to tackle stigma and improve awareness. Leadership should set the tone at the top: whether continuing to invest in training to help managers and employees spot signs of poor mental health and understand how to reach their employees and help.”
At Meduc8ion, we are committed to helping people improve their mental health in the workplace. That’s why we will soon be offering specialised mental health awareness training: to enhance your understanding of common mental health conditions, such as how or when people might be suffering, and how best to deal with potential issues.
Furthermore, we will aim to show you practices on how to regularly evaluate your own mental state, and train you to take positive steps in your own life. With up to 1 in 5 people suffering in silence, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you are equipped with the knowledge and strategies that help you best manage.
In addition, the course has been written to include all industries and professions, and contains information on the responsibilities and duties of all employers and employees.
To register your interest before the course enters its full release, please click here. Alternatively, to get in touch with one of our representatives why not call 01455 245 740 or contact Emma on firstname.lastname@example.org