Helping your employees with mental health issues

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Mental health problems have raised dramatically in the last few years.  At Safety Forward we believe it should be treated as important as a physical injury. In many workplaces, the problems are becoming more frequent.  In fact, mental health has now appeared to be the top cause of absence for employees within the workplace.  Did you know a total of 1,400 construction workers committing suicide since 2011. The top killer for men aged 20-45 is suicide!

Here are a few statistics that will blow your mind. At least 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem each year. It’s almost as if it is an everyday thing to experience which it shouldn’t be. The most common mental health problems are anxiety and depression. Another 1 in 5 people take a day of due to stress, this costs UK businesses. Do you as a manager make your employees feel supported? Less than half of employees in the UK have said they’d feel uncomfortable speaking to their manager if they were suffering from stress. This costs the country a lot of money each year. The UK has the fourth highest rate of antidepressant prescriptions in Europe which costs £50 million each year.

The main problem with mental health issues is that many people struggle to show that they aren’t coping. Families of the people struggling are oblivious and we need to encourage people to talk so they are able to get the help needed. As a result of this, businesses are being encouraged to try and recognize the issues before it becomes harder to treat and resolve.

These problems mean that the UK’s economy has been added to by the people who experience health problems.  With a result of a huge amount of £226 billion which  actually 12.1% of the total GDP.  In order for this to decrease, employers and other workers within a business need to act fast and show support to their work colleagues.

What can businesses do to help people with mental health issues?

  • Resources for employees, to enable them to show support to their colleagues, examples being: Employee Assistance Programmes, more flexible working options and hours and also just general information.
  • Take time to speak to your employees, if they’ve been unwell, listen to them. Their stories will tell you everything you need to know in order for you to help them out.
  • How much will it cost your company to have a manager off for 2 weeks to recover? Probably more than you think. Why not offer them counselling, it will help your employee out more than having time off which is the main priority.
  • Have regular meetings with your employees to check up on them. Make sure they are coping with the work given to them and if they are struggling it might be easier to decrease the demands of work given.

If you know somebody who needs help or you need it yourself, there is always somebody to help.

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