Report estimates the cost of poor mental health to UK organisations

Written by Liz Guilford on . Posted in News

Report estimates the cost of poor mental health to UK organisations

An independent government commissioned review into mental health at work, ‘Thriving at work: a review of mental health and employers’, has found that 300,000 people with a long-term mental health problem lose their jobs each year, and that 15% of people at work have symptoms of a mental health condition.

The report estimates the cost of poor mental health to UK organisations to be as high as £42 billion, with half of this cost attributed to presenteeism and the rest a result of sickness absence and employee turnover.

“The UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association supports the ‘mental health core standards’ that the report puts forward. This framework, which emphasises the importance of developing mental health awareness among employees and promoting effective people management through line managers, has the potential to be an important tool through which employers and EAP providers can work better together to support employee mental health.

“EAPs are one of the quickest ways for people who are struggling with a wide range of issues to access counselling and related support services and as such they are an effective tool in combating the mental health crisis that we’re facing in the UK. With more than half the UK working population having access to an EAP, according to UK EAPA estimates, we have a tremendous opportunity to support and promote employee health and wellbeing and reducing levels of psychological distress in the workplace,” said Neil Mountford, chair of the UK EAPA.

The ‘mental health core standards’ recommended by the government commissioned review into mental health at work are:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan;
  • Develop mental health awareness among employees;
  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling;
  • Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work/life balance and opportunities for development;
  • Promote effective people management through line managers and supervisors;
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing.

You can find out more about the review here.

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