What Can Be Done to Improve Mental Health at Work?
Thrive Law's campaign to get mental health first aiders into the workplace
Founder Jodie Hill shares her own experience with PTSD and anxiety
How mental health support in the workplace helps both individuals and businesses
Most workplaces have a physical first aider, so why not a mental one?
Thrive Law is a Leeds-based specialist employment law firm which focuses on mental health in the workplace. They are currently running a campaign, with over 3,000 signatures, to make mental health first aiders mandatory in every workplace. With almost 75% of employees experiencing symptoms of poor mental health, this has never been more relevant.
At Thrive, our ethos is to support both employers and employees to 'Thrive' in the workplace. As the Founder, Managing Director and a Solicitor at Thrive Law, my own experiences with poor mental health have fuelled this campaign to ensure that positive mental health and wellbeing are an integral part of every business’s agenda. I have being dealing with chronic anxiety and PTSD throughout my life, and so I understand the importance of how this can affect performance, productivity and how this could have been different had I been offered the correct support.
The cost of work-related mental health issues
Stigma remains deeply entrenched in organisations as poor mental health is perceived as a weakness. Findings report that 60% of board members and senior managers believe their organisation supports people with mental health issues. Despite this, the stark reality is that only 11% of employees have discussed a recent mental health problem with their line manager, and 50% of employees say they would not discuss mental health with their line manager at all.
Furthermore, poor mental health comes at a staggering cost to UK employers ranging from £33 billion to £42 billion each year through sick absence and staff turnover, with over 50% of the cost coming from presenteeism - people being at their desks for longer than required due to anxiety or insecurity over their jobs. It also affects the government, with between £24 billion and £278 billion in lost tax revenue, benefits and NHS costs. Moreover, 300,000 employees with long-term mental health problems lose their job each year.
The benefits of workplace mental health support
Research affirms that prioritising employee engagement and wellbeing enhances productivity, loyalty and profitability in the workplace. Deloitte’s review of mental health in the workplace revealed that the average return on investment of workplace mental health interventions was outstanding – for every £1 spent, the return was at least £4.20. These are motivating findings for businesses to invest in positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace to tackle this growing issue.
In addition to the campaign, Thrive Law are continually raising awareness on this issue through our annual Thriving Minds conference and other events here in Leeds. These events challenge attendees to think more proactively about wellbeing in the workplace and provide practical solutions that they can take away an implement in their business or own lives.
To keep the conversation we've created a Facebook group called Thriving Minds. This has created a growing community of like-minded people from across the UK committed to improved mental wellbeing in the workplace.
You can visit our website and sign our petition here https://www.thrivelaw.co.uk/