On average, HR professionals will oversee 15 staff members who have a current mental health diagnosis each year – that’s according to new analysis from consultancy the Clear Company.

The recently published results of the UK Workplace Wellbeing Study also named mental health in the workplace as the second biggest challenge facing employers in the next five years, with respondents stating that over a quarter (26 percent) of workplace absences were due to mental ill health.

Of those surveyed, 81 percent were currently offering line manager training, particularly around recognising stress within the workplace, and 62 percent offered counselling support.

Commenting on the findings, Kate Headley, Director at the Clear Company, said, “HR professionals are required to assist employees with mental health conditions under the Equality Act 2010. However, low levels of disclosure continue to be a barrier to support.

“With this in mind, HR strategists should look at ways to foster a culture of openness which actively encourages staff to share their needs on an ongoing basis so that they can be fully supported.”

Stress, anxiety and depression are the biggest cause of sickness absence in our society. Research has found that mental health related absences cost UK employers an estimated £26 billion per year – over £1,000 per employee – on top of the productivity lost to presenteeism every day.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training courses teach people to spot the symptoms of mental health issues, offer initial help and guide a person towards support. Our training and consultancy is here to support you to manage wellbeing proactively and minimise the impact of mental ill health on work and life. We’ll work alongside you to deliver training that complements and enhances your existing wellbeing strategy, if you have one. If you don’t, we’ll get you started on that journey and guide you along the way. Visit mhfaengland.org/organisations/ to get started.