Supporting positive mental health at work
Mental Health Awareness Week brought a much-needed spotlight to the biggest cause of absence in the UK. Some research suggests the total cost of mental health problems to the UK economy is £34.9Bn. Other studies show that 1 in 4 people will experience a period of psychological ill health at some point.
Before the pandemic stress, anxiety and depression were responsible for over half of all working days lost in the UK. Currently, psychological ill-health makes up over 70% of our workload.
Employers who protect and nurture the mental health of staff are likely to see improved productivity and a happier, more loyal workforce. However, reducing mental ill health is a long-term process, which needs more than a weeks’ focus each year.
The road to recovery
Even though it is a big problem, most people who have a period of psychological ill health recover. They respond well to treatment (medication, talking therapies and work are all incredibly helpful) and do not have lasting effects on their health or performance at work.
Sadly, some do not respond as well and the road to recovery can be very long. Support options provided by the NHS or privately may be limited. If the condition becomes chronic (long lasting) it is unlikely to be covered by private medical insurance.
Occupational health can advise employers, but it remains the employers’ responsibility to manage the risk. However, doing so does not need to cost the earth. Many charities are now able to provide workplace support services too.
Oakleaf Enterprise is a Guildford-based charity which has been helping the Surrey community manage its mental ill-health for the
past twenty-five years. It exists to help those who need most support – those who face a long road to recovery.
The aim of the charity is to foster confidence and reduce social isolation by actively training, engaging and supporting individuals with mental ill-health to empower them to achieve their goals and return to the workplace.
Mental Health Leaders Network
Oakleaf organises a network of businesses called the Mental Health Leaders Network, in which Occupational Health Assessment Ltd is also a proud participant. The aim is to improve access to care and support for those who need it most.
This is delivered through free Work-Related Training and Employment Support, Wellbeing Activities, Counselling Services and evening drop-in Safe Haven services for individuals in or close to crisis. In 2021, they supported 877 individuals through over 25,000 activity attendances.
If you would like to know more about how charity supports businesses nationwide, please feel free to contact Jen Clay for more information.
occupational health assessment service, night worker health assessments, fitness certifications and access to clinics in Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Northampton, Nottingham, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton, Stoke, Surrey and more, the business provides high quality,
expert medical advice.
Please contact us for further information or assistance.