The numbers of employees forced to stop work as a result of mental health problems were 50% higher than for those with physical health conditions. costing the UK economy of poor mental health now stands at £99billion.
Education and appropriate training of employers and managers is critical. We need to ensure that the people managers in our business are skilled and confident to talk about mental health, they also need to be able to recognise the early signs of distress and know where to signpost people who need more support.
Organisations should create a communications strategy that regularly reinforces positive mental health messaging and ensures that there are multiple appropriate channels through which people can seek help, at convenient times in their working day. The communications must repeat and stress that talking is important; that seeking help is a strength, not a weakness and it demonstrates someone who is taking control. It should be made very clear that talking about stress and distress is not career limiting, and this should be supported by internal story telling of personal mental health stories from within the organisation.
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