Mental ill health in the workplace is increasing

As reported last year, the Farmer-Stevenson review, ‘Thriving at Work’, highlighted that an estimated 300,000 people lose their jobs each year due to mental ill health.  More recent research published by the CIPD shows that mental health is becoming an ever increasing challenge, with HR professionals reporting that common mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression have increased from 41% in 2017 to 55% in 2018. Mental ill health is also becoming an even more significant cause of both short and long-term sickness absence.

These findings highlight the need for accessible, reliable guidance and practical support to enable employers to develop healthier workplaces. According to leading charity Mind, many employers want to make mental health a priority but a third don’t know where to go for information or guidance. This is why Initiatives such as Mental Health at Work have been welcomed.  Launched in September, this offers an online gateway to resources, training and information to enable employers and employees to gain a better understanding of mental health at work and to give them the confidence that they have the tools to support those experiencing mental ill health.

Whilst the CIPD notes that many organisations have been making good progress in supporting people’s health and well-being at work, their research demonstrates that there is still some way to go before most organisations have an effective framework in place to support people’s mental health at work, with less than half (44%) of employees feeling confident enough to disclose unmanageable stress or a mental health issue to their employer or manager.

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