Around the world, approximately 450 million people currently suffer from mental health conditions, with 25% of the global population being directly affected by mental health issues at some point during their lifetime. Despite poor mental health being one of the leading causes of illness and sick leave worldwide, many employers are not fully aware of the human and financial impact on their business.
A new report commissioned by the Prime Minister, ‘Thriving at Work’ explores employer and employee attitudes to mental health, analysing the true cost of poor mental health for UK business and economy. In the UK, 70 million workdays are lost due to mental illness annually, causing more than 300,000 people to lose their jobs.
Having reviewed over 200 employers and mental health experts, Thriving at Work has revealed that ill mental health is costing employers between £33 billion and £42 billion every year, with the total impact on the UK economy ranging from £74 billion to £99 billion.
In order to remedy this, the report outlines six ‘core standards’ to support mental health in the workplace. This effective and positive approach addresses external support and employee assistance programmes, mental health awareness for managers and other employees, as well as line management responsibilities and the monitoring of staff wellbeing.
Last year, 45% of sick leave was stress-related; poor mental health in the workplace can mean poor quality work, low motivation and sometimes even conflict between colleagues. The recent report highlights how investing in effectively supporting and promoting employee mental health at work is as good for employers as it is for employees. For every £1 invested in employee assistance programmes, the business return ranges from £1.50 to £9. Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of mental health charity, Mind, says “the cost of failing to address mental health in the workplace is clear. Workplace mental health should be a priority for organisations across the UK.”
Promoting positive mental health is in the best interests of all business leaders. Happy and supported employees are able to perform far better, not only providing savings in terms of sick leave, but also maximising productivity. By taking the time to calculate the cost of mental health in your organisation – determining the cost of sickness and reviewing your performance indicators – you will be able to align the cost of investing in an employee assistance programme against the risks and losses of not effectively supporting your staff.
To ensure your business doesn’t miss opportunities to prevent and support poor mental health invest in CiC’s employee assistance, support and advice services. Our comprehensive workplace support programmes will give your staff access to specialist guidance, information and advice for positive mental health and wellbeing. For more information, call us on 020 7937 6224 or complete our short enquiry form.