3 Reasons why Mental Health should be on an employer’s radar

14 July 2014


Mental Health is a growing concern in today’s workplace – gaining regular coverage in the news and media. 

As much as £15 billion is lost each year in the UK as a result of employees with mental health problems struggling in the workplace without the support they need1.

Why Mental Health is a problem for employers

We know that, in many businesses across the UK, people are working at the same time as managing more complex mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and phobias. We also know that many people with conditions such as these can struggle to find work – and staying in work is difficult if they are not well supported.

So it’s no surprise that, increasingly, employers feel an obligation to be aware of the effects of mental health on their staff and also to look out for the warning signs. Even today, many cases of mental health go unrecognised until it is too late, potentially having a devastating impact on employees and the workplace as a whole.

In fact…

  1. Each year, 70 million working days are lost due to mental ill health 2. Whether this is due to sickness absence, loss of productivity or presenteeism – this is a statistic that employers just cannot afford to ignore.
  2. About 30% of all GP consultations are related to a mental health problem3. Mental ill health is more common than you’d think, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and how to address this sensitive subject with an employee.
  3. Mental Health is still a taboo subject in the workplace. Many employees feel scared, embarrassed or unable to talk about mental health concerns with their line manager or employer. In fact, mental health, just like physical health, can be improved through simple yet effective steps.

What can employers do – The Mental Health First Aid course

To help address the issues associated with mental health, Unum has teamed up with Minding Your Business, a specialist service supporting mental health in the workplace to deliver a Mental Health First Aid course.

The two-day, or half-day ‘lite’, internationally-accredited Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course gives attendees ‘Mental Health First Aider’ status and helps attendees to:

  • spot the first signs and symptoms of a range of mental health problems
  • have the confidence to intervene when a problem is observed –helping to prevent them from developing into something much more serious.

Courses can be run for companies of all sizes, giving employers the option to run onsite sessions for their own staff or to join other like-minded companies in their sector.

How do I sign up?

The course is run at a competitive rate for all Unum customers and business partners.

For more information on MHFA with Unum or if you wish to book a course, contact Judy or Donna on 01737 772126 (quote Unum customer) or email info@mindingyourbusiness.org.uk

1 www.mindingyourbusiness.org.uk (June, 2014)

2 www.mindingyourbusiness.org.uk (June, 2014)

3 www.mind.org.uk (June, 2014)