61% of employees have experienced mental health issues due to work or work-related factors, which is why the mental health of employees is becoming an increasingly important consideration for employers up and down the country.

But despite these alarming statistics, there’s still a lot more to be done when it comes to supporting mental health in the workplace.

What Impact Does Poor Mental Health Have on Employees and Businesses?

The sickness symptoms associated with poor mental health cost UK businesses over £35 billion every year. That figure is over £10 billion more than the cost was 10 years ago, illustrating the task at hand for employers struggling with employee sickness.

Mental health issues relating to stress management, burnout, anxiety, and depression can all lead to negative consequences for a business. Increases in employee sickness absences, higher levels of presenteeism, and lower employee productivity, are all common occurrences for business who provide no mental health provisions for their employees.      

Yet, despite the increasing need to facilitate better mental health support, UK companies lag behind when it comes to doing so. In the 2016, the percentage of line managers who had undertaken mental health training to support their employees stood at just 22%. As of 2018 that figure only increased to 30%.

So with less than a third of UK line managers undergoing training for mental health support, how can workplaces become more supportive of employees experiencing issues with their mental health?

Create a Supportive Working Environment for Better Mental Health

As an employer, you need to take a holistic approach to improving the mental health of your employees. Therefore, they should be involved in the process of creating better support facilities.

One of the first steps is to create a space where employees can both talk and be asked about their mental health needs. Opening communication channels is essential.

Only half of employees feel comfortable talking about their mental health issues within a workplace setting. Thus, it makes sense to provide the facility of private sessions with either line managers or mental health professionals as a space to talk about what they are experiencing. 

Only 52% of companies that have one-on-one meetings between line managers and employees talk about mental health and wellbeing. A simple change of emphasis within these meetings to show that managers care about an employee’s health and wellbeing, can dramatically improve staff loyalty, productivity and morale.

Make Your Workplace More Inclusive

One of the key drivers behind the big increase in mental health issues, is the culture of the working environment.

73% of business leaders acknowledge that high-pressure environments can quickly lead to mental health problems such as stress, anxiety or burnout. With that in mind, you need to take steps to ensure your employees know they are valued as a person, not just as a sales or cost metric.

Secondly, it’s a good idea to take steps to reward and recognise your employees at every opportune moment, rather than trying to scrutinise and find faults. Doing so will foster a culture of positivity as opposed to one based on persecution.

Lastly, paying attention to the needs of specific personnel is critical. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to mental health.

For example, nearly three quarters of all LGBT+ employees have experienced a mental health problem at work. Therefore, it makes sense to make increased mental health provisions available for these particular employees as part of your overall workplace wellness policy.   

Save Money and Improve Employee Morale with Mental Health Services

By investing in your employee’s mental health you will reap the benefits of a workforce that has higher levels of both morale and productivity. What’s more, you’ll encounter less employee sickness absence, and reduce instances of presentism.

Here at DocHQ, we can help you become one of the 60% of UK companies now offering mental health service to their employees. Our packages include mental health assessments and mental health counselling as well as a range of other wellness tools that can help to improve the health and wellbeing of your employees.

Talk to a member of our team today to discuss your need for an effective workplace wellness programme. 

You may also be interested in these blogs: Mindfulness, Taking a break, Signs of poor mental health, Bullying, Back pain and getting a good Work/life balance.

DocHQ Ltd is a Health Tech company improving choices. We help you connect efficiently to health support and advice whether you are at home, work or travelling. See our website for our services or call us on 0330 088 0645.