Our Approach to Mental Health at Work
Mental health awareness has done a fantastic job!
We are now speaking about mental health more openly and it has gained a huge amount of publicity. However, we aren’t just seeing a rise in awareness but we aren’t seeing the number of issues decreasing.
1 in 4 of us will have a diagnosed mental health condition in the UK. This relates to about 17% of any given workforce that will need to have consistent support and potentially reasonable adjustments made at work. In addition, around 77% of any given workforce will experience issues with their mental health within any year. This accounts for situational issues that may arise from work pressures, life events such as a bereavement, divorce or seasonal change.
Why is that and what does this mean for our businesses and the people in them?
The costs to business vary and depends on what measure you’re looking at whether it’s financial, productivity, staff turnover or reputation just to mention a few.
In 2007, the ONS reported that poor mental health had an economic impact of £26 billion. In 2015, this has risen to £34.9 billion.
For your business, this means that the cost per employee per year has risen from £1,054 to £1,304. An increase of nearly 24%.
By getting the right support and approach to mental health in place as a business, you can have an incredible impact, not only on your workforce but on your bottom line too.
The Mental Health Foundation calculated that the average cost to employers for promoting well-being £80 per employee per year. With that, the net return brings £347,722 in savings.
If you add onto that support for those 17% with ongoing conditions in the way of an internal mental health service for appointments, screening etc. Will result in a net profit return on investment of 400% over a two year period.
Two Areas of Focus
This gives us two clear areas of focus.
- Strengthening the support leading to the situational issues that 77% of a workforce will encounter
- The ongoing support for people who are managing mental health diagnosis or are vulnerable to conditions.
A lot of organisations that support mental health at work tend to focus a lot of raising awareness for mental health conditions.
With the break down of stigma, a lot of experiences and stories have been shared with the conditions and symptoms at the forefront, often, we relate heavily to these stories and the emotions they represent. We feel this may bring a future risk to employers with the focus being on conditions this may lead people to self-diagnosing without the input of appropriate healthcare professionals.
Most people aren’t educated in how these relatable emotions are coped with effectively and without access to quick support, people turn to the internet…this has led to 23% of working age adults in the UK self-identifying with mental health problems without necessarily accessing the support that should be available to them.
Our work doesn’t purely focus on signposting but develops practical ways of working that drives prevention, management and support through the two areas of focus.
Why is this our approach?
We often encounter businesses that have signposting functions in place. Whether this is within the HR or People Teams or trained Mental Health Ambassadors or Champions.
This is an absolutely brilliant first step but what happens next?
Once people have been signposted to their GP, they return to work and may need adjustments or may need to emphasise areas of their life to mitigate the risk of that issue becoming a recurring one. It may be that they haven’t received the support they need at all. It’s clinically proven that if someone is diagnosed with depression, the likelihood increases that they will get it again.
In the UK, around 10% of the NHS budget is spent on mental health services, which has remained stable in the last decade. As a result, around 90% of mental health cases are supported within GP Practices without the input of mental health professionals as GPs, albeit incredible, receive limited training.
The number of GP appointments for mental health issues are climbing with around 500,000 appointments every day and around 8% of those people get referred for additional input from the mental health services.
With a huge amount of people getting referred on, and funding being limited, The Royal College of Psychiatrists report waiting times of up to 13 years in some areas of the UK for a specialist appointment.
So…whilst only 8% of adults are getting referred to services for psychological support, 3% actually receive it.
This is why we have a longer term approach to just relying on signposting and focus on emotional literacy to develop positive, long term coping strategies to encourage prevention and management of these issues when they arise.
Why Emotional Literacy?
Emotional literacy improves how people cope with the relatable emotions that comes with poor mental health.
By focusing on Positive Education across your organisation, we can not only help people cope with their issues in a positive way, but we can prevent mental health issues and IMPROVE business.
What we see with strong Emotional Literacy
I can share how I am feeling
I can recognise how am feeling
I can identify what I’m struggling with
I can control how I’m feeling
I know what I need to help myself
What we see with Emotional Illiteracy
I can’t share how I am feeling
I can’t recognise how am feeling
I can’t identify what I’m struggling with
I can’t control how I’m feeling
I don’t know what I need to help myself
Emotional literacy is a tried and tested, evidence-based approach which breaks down into five areas.
By focusing our well-being efforts on developing emotional literacy, we can help mitigate the following risks to business.
We use our Bananas & Doughnut Methodology to improve Mental Health and Well-being at work.
How we help
We rarely do one-off events but we work with clients to develop a practical, action based strategy around mental health and well-being. Helping you deliver a whole company approach to mental health and well-being that consistently works to IMPROVE it rather than feeling like you are constantly firefighting.
Working with you to develop preventative well-being strategies
Delivering practical tools for staff to align with your strategy
Accredited Management & Champion Training
1:1 Support service for staff
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