Today saw the publication of The Thriving at Work report, a review commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May to explore how employers can better support the mental health of all employees to ensure they remain in and thrive through work.
The report reveals the extent of the human cost of poor mental health at work and the impacts on society, the economy and the government, and provides a set of six core standards for employers to adopt and implement to support mental health in the workplace. These standards include imperatives to develop mental health awareness among employees, encourage open conversations about mental health and promote effective people management when it comes to mental wellbeing.
Led by CEO of Mind, Paul Farmer, and Lord Dennis Stevenson, the review reveals that around 300,000 people with long term mental health issues lose their jobs each year. It estimates that the costs related to poor mental health for employers are between £33 billion and £42 billion every year, with an overall cost to the economy of £99 billion per year.
Poppy Jaman, CEO, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, commented, “Today’s report provides further evidence on the extent of the human and financial impact of poor mental health and mental illness in the workplace. We welcome the review’s comprehensive set of recommendations, the six core standards it calls on employers to adopt and the emphasis these place on mental health training.”
“Workplace Mental Health First Aid courses have an important role to play in supporting employers to adopt and implement these standards. Providing this training not only helps build awareness of common mental health issues in the workplace, but gives employees and line managers the skills to spot signs and symptoms and to have the confidence to have an open dialogue on mental health. This also helps to create a workplace culture that empowers people experiencing a mental health issue to come forward for support at the earliest opportunity, ultimately supporting prevention and recovery in the long term.”
The full report lays out facts and figures on mental health, compiled with the input of the Government Economic Service, providing information on sickness absence and presenteeism, and details the associated costs to the government and employers. It also provides constructive recommendations for workplaces in both the public and private sectors and for government, and explores the importance of transparency and leadership, external support for employers and the role of regulators. It closes by giving guidance on implementation and delivery for achieving change around workplace approaches to mental health and wellbeing.