Mental health is an invisible illness and thus, isn’t always prioritised or taken as seriously as the visible illnesses. However, recent studies show the vast impact mental health illnesses have in the workplace, which has lead the Government’s Department of Health to implement methods to lessen the effect. Recent research highlights the vast amount of illnesses and have different degrees of impact these have which effect people differently. Workplace stressed is caused mainly by heavy workloads, poor management and challenging targets.

It is believed in past years mental health was ignored due to the stigma, especially with men. Although, as you may have seen though Government work and charity campaigns, people are being encouraged to not only understand mental health more, yet to speak out themselves if they need help. This implementation is also being taken into effect in workplaces, such as the Mind charity campaign. The statistics below show the impact of poor mental health awareness in UK businesses:


. 2017 Health and Safety Executive announced that stress across the UK workforce had risen to become the most common work place illness, overtaking the common cold.
. In 2016/2017, mental health accounted for 40% of workplace absences.
. Poor mental health is costing UK Businesses as much as £42 billion.
. Poor mental health is costing the UK economy as much as £99 billion.
. 30% of UK workers (9.7 million) reported feeling stressed due to heavy workloads, which regularly impacts their productivity.


What can Businesses do?

There are a lot of training opportunities available now, teaching the employers and the employees will show understanding and break the stigma within businesses. For example, if employees feel secure that their managers do understand mental health without judgement, then discussing their potential mental health illnesses will be done in confidence and therefore lead the employees to get the support they truly need. 25% of employees stated they would rather have a supportive manager than a 3% pay rise, as they want to feel their mental health is supported. Training will also allow the whole workforce to be able to spot signs that someone else may need support, as 54% of people reported they would discuss mental health with a colleague – so get the discussion started!


Join everyone and start discussing mental health today, break the stigma within your workplace. Read the NHS’ guide on prevention of stress in the workplace: