It’s National Mental Health Awareness Week – an annual event that seeks to raise awareness of mental health issues.
Over the past few weeks, Prince Harry and other Royals have talked frankly about mental health issues. There has also been widespread media coverage, including radio phone ins, which have encouraged more debate and discussion.
But the reality is, too many people with poor mental health are suffering in silence, particularly at work. According to the CIPD, one in three people has suffered from poor mental health at work, up from a quarter last year.
Our clients have been raising awareness of these issues in the press this week – providing advice for companies on how they can better support staff and get rid of the stigma around mental health in the workplace.
Punter Southall Health & Protection, our employee benefits client, discussed its recent employee wellbeing report, ‘Employee Wellbeing Research 2017: The evolution of workplace wellbeing in the UK’ published in association with REBA. They found that employers are increasingly prioritising their employees’ mental wellbeing. 45% of companies now have a clearly-defined wellbeing strategy in place, compared to less than a third (30%) in 2016. 82% of these strategies include mental health, with a further 15% planning to add mental health initiatives to their strategy in 2017.
More than half (56%) of employers said that mental health support is one of the most effective wellbeing initiatives for their business, together with employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and on-site medical support. The company’s views were published in HR News, Business Matters and Small Business magazine.
Our absence management software client, Activ Absence, has been extolling the virtues of technology and how it can help companies to identify employees with mental health conditions and provide support and early interventions, before problems escalate. Poor mental health is now the number one reason for staff absence and comments from Adrian Lewis the company’s Director appeared in London Love Business and Personnel Today, amongst other titles.
At a recent event hosted by Punter Southall Health & Protection, one of the guest speakers was Alex Tambourines, CEO Hammersmith & Fulham Mind. He said some really interesting things about mental wellbeing that could help companies.
Alex said that just like our physical health, we all need to make time to look after our mental health. He suggested that we should try ‘The Five Ways to Wellbeing’:
1. Connect 2. Be active 3. Take notice 4. Keep learning 5. Give