Jaan Madan, Workplace Lead at MHFA England, discusses recent statistics found by St John Ambulance on the reality of mental health in the workplace.

Last month, the estimated number of working days lost to stress, anxiety, and depression in the UK in 2017/18 rose to 15.4 million. Despite the enormous strides being made in many workplaces, statistics like this make it increasingly clear that we can’t afford to become complacent and feel the job is done. 

We’re learning more about the knock-on effects of mental ill health in the workplace every year – in presenteeism, absenteeism and productivity. It’s therefore all the more important that we maintain efforts to improve and refine our practices to ensure we are doing everything we can to create the conditions for a thriving workforce.   

There is no health without mental health and there are good reasons to ensure protections are in place for both mental and physical health. Since early 2017 Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has been working closely with St John Ambulance to bring both mental and physical first aid to workplaces all over the country. And with good reason. A recent survey of 1,800 people conducted by St John Ambulance paints a worrying picture. 

St John Ambulance 2018: #mentalhealthinfocus

  • Almost 65% of people would feel uncomfortable asking their employer for a mental health-related sick day
  • Nearly 45% of people have considered leaving their job due to mental health issues
  • Almost 25% of people have left their job due to mental health issues
  • Over 68% of people feel that their employer should be doing more to address mental health issues at work
  • Less than 20% of people say that their company has a mental health wellbeing policy that they know about
  • Almost 25% of people feel their workplace is contributing negatively to their mental wellbeing

These statistics tell us that stigma around mental health is alive, kicking, and affecting the lives of a concerning number of people. 

But these findings are just the start of a much-needed conversation on mental health in the workplace and the role of first aid. One I look forward to being part of at next month’s summit, ‘Embedding Mental Health Best Practices in the Workplace’, hosted by St John Ambulance.

At this event, along with the MHFA England team, I’ll be joining clinical experts and business leaders from a range of sectors to discuss approaches to workplace mental health. We’ll also gain further insights on the part MHFA has to play in changing workplace culture, breaking stigma, and ultimately addressing some of these troubling statistics. 

It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn, collaborate, develop new relationships and share good practice and so I look forward to joining friends and colleagues – all with the shared goal of building mentally healthy workplaces. 

Embedding Mental Health Best Practices in the Workplace is for anyone who is passionate about the future of mental health in the workplace. You can find out more on the St John Ambulance website

For a 10% discount on ticket prices, use the code MHFA10 at checkout.