It has been well reported that many sick days are lost in business due to mental health related illnesses, however it is only until recent that bosses are looking at ways to tackle the problem. According to the Office of National Statistics [ONS], last year 17.5million sick days were taken. It is no wonder why mental health is now high on the agenda in the boardroom and corporates alike.
When group chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, Antonio Horta-Osorio sought support due to immense stress at work, he received it from his chairman.This was revolutionary, even more so back in 2011, in an industry where the stigma surrounding mental health is widespread. What’s more the banking culture is often perceived to be macho and one where illnesses such as anxiety, stress and mental health can be perceived as ‘weak’. Horta-Osorio was fully supported by his peers, where after two months away from the workplace he returned recovered from his illness.
Thankfully many other corporates are too experiencing a sea change in the attitude towards mental health conditions. Business case for care is clear.
A well supported work force is more productive, efficient and happy. Despite HR departments and team managers implementing mental health programmes for their employees, more can still be done.
What about the 6 million SMEs in the UK?
Since not all small businesses have a HR manager let alone a department, the obligation often lies on the business owner or managers.
Often there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. There are a now a range of strategies available to create an plan suitable for your business such as: a mental health first aid course, wellbeing programme, health and wellbeing conference and online tools and applications to name just a few. The programme should not simply be a box-ticking exercise, but one that ‘checks in’ with employees on a monthly basis.
MindCheck is the online mental health wellbeing tool that businesses are using to help identify vulnerable team members and enable them to be supported appropriately. Furthermore, it is endorsed by MIND.
Contact Stanley Wellbeing for a free consultation 0800 298 2980
If you are worried about mental health problems or know someone who is, speak to your GP for support.