What No Safety - Health and Safety Specialists in Salisbury, Wiltshire

How common are mental health problems?

According to the Mind charity, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. They go on to explain that this has not significantly changed in recent years however access to help and support is increasingly harder. With reports for England and Wales suggesting that only 1 in 8 adults with a mental health problem are currently receiving treatment.

It’s not surprising that employers find the issue of mental health in the workplace challenging to managing. It can be hidden, hard to talk about and anyone suffering will most likely have additional anxiety around talking to their employer for obvious reasons.

Facts and figures can easily be found on the internet, an article we reviewed showed a steady increase since 1993. Possibly this can be attributed to the change of lifestyle and additional pressures of the 21st Century.

The same article goes on to say that women are most likely to be affected and men more likely to take their own lives. Worryingly mental health problems start early and in childhood .... this being our future workforce.

A happy workplace is a safe workforce.

The following extract is from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

“Mental health is about how we think, feel and behave. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems. They are often a reaction to a difficult life event, such as bereavement, but can also be caused by work-related issues.”

While 'work' is not the only place or experience that causes or impacts mental health. Since ‘the average British worker will put in 34 hours and 26 minutes of work a week, and 84,171 hours in the course of their career.” How you manage mental health in your organisation is essential to create a happy and safe workforce.

A happy workforce is a productive workforce.

From a financial viewpoint prioritising health and wellbeing makes good sense, with benefits including increased productive, a reduction in days lost and improved staff retention.

You also have a duty of care in the same way you would support an employee with a physical injury or health problem.

However, we understand that for employers of large workforces, those who have dedicated departments, personnel and of course budget it's far easier than for an SME.

Yet, no matter the size of your business, you DO have a duty of care as explained below by the HSE.

‘Whether work is causing the health issue or aggravating it, employers have a legal responsibility to help their employees. Work-related mental health issues must be assessed to measure the levels of risk to staff. Where a risk is identified, steps must be taken to remove it or reduce it as far as reasonably practicable.”

Plus, your future workforce is more likely to have mental health issues. Therefore, NOW is the time to make health and wellbeing a priority in your business. 

Working conditions can have a huge impact on the mental health of your employees. Equally the mental health of your valuable workforce can impact the working environment.  

  • Women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem as full-time employed men (19.8% vs 10.9%).
  • Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.
  • Better mental health support in the workplace can save UK businesses up to £8 billion per year.

It’s for these reasons What No Safety has introduced the Mental Health In the Workplace two-day training to its course offering. With learning outcomes that include able to describe examples of mental health problems, understand social and cultural attitudes to mental illness and much, much more.

The course covers how to promote a healthy workplace, why mental health is not discussed at work and the impact on the workplace of unidentified mental health problems. To name just three elements. You can find out more here.

If you would like to find out more about the Mental Health Training in the Workplace course or discuss your individual business needs in relation to mental health please email abarrett@whatnosafety.co.uk or call 01722 326 390.