Lack of Mental Health Support

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), September 29, 2014 | Go to article overview

Lack of Mental Health Support


-------- RESEARCH indicates that the majority of employers seriously underestimate the prevalence of mental health problems among their employees. Nearly half think that none of their staff will ever have a mental health problem.

However, it is estimated that one in six workers experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress at any one time. Despite these statistics, we don't talk enough about mental health at work and as a result people don't get the support they need. In fact, a 2009 report by the Mental Health Promotion Network stated that the costs associated with poor mental health in the workplace amount to nearly to PS1.2bn a year, equivalent to PS860 for every employee in the Welsh workforce. This includes the costs of sickness absence, reduced productivity and increased staff turnover.

These figures may well have got worse in an environment of public sector cuts, pay freezes and increased pressures on staff. I've mentioned this research before but, unfortunately, we still have to make the case for employers to step up and take mental health seriously.

A mentally healthy workforce is a more productive workforce and we all need to look at ways that we can improve mental health at work. One way that employers have been engaging with the mental health agenda is though the Time to Change Wales organisational pledge. …

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