Mental health in the workplace – everyone’s problem
16 May 2017
The good news was that 35% said they’d be happy to tell colleagues. But the problem with telling your boss about mental health issues is the fear of the consequences on your employment. You might be afraid of being passed over for promotion, denied opportunities for self-development, and possibly expose yourself to general discrimination, according to the director of the mental health charity, Time to Change. Her advice is consequently to speak up only if your employer is clearly supportive of mental health programmes.
Is this helpful? Considering that about one in six people suffer from such problems, millions of people are not getting the help they need. For businesses, the knock-on effects can result in absenteeism and low productivity, so it pays to focus some attention on mental health in the workplace.
Further research was conducted between January 2011 and March 2017 by employee wellbeing organisation Lifeworks, which runs an employee assistance programme (EAP).
The research found that there was a shocking 40% increase in the number of calls regarding anxiety and depression in 2016 and that 10% of employees that call the EAP report an impairment of their performance at work, with 9% on sick leave or are absent from their jobs.
In this context, the importance of creating an environment where employees do feel comfortable admitting mental health issues, and receiving support, cannot afford to be overlooked. There are programmes available to help your business get this right.