This year, the Mental Health Foundation is choosing to focus on the theme of ‘Stress: Are we coping?’ for the awareness week, building on the fact that stress is a significant contributing factor in the lives of the two-thirds of us who will experience a mental health problem in our life time.
By launching its first ever report of the kind, IIP hopes to build on the insights provided by existing research and prove that improving the UK’s approach to workplace support for mental wellbeing is vital if we are to boost the nation’s productivity. Indeed, Stevenson and Farmer’s Thriving at Work report published last year, suggested that poor support for mental health could be costing the UK economy as much as £99 billion annually. This, coupled with the fact that an estimated 15.8 million days are lost to mental health conditions every year, proves the intrinsic value that organisations can add to their organisation by adequately caring for their employees.
The greatest insight produced from the survey was the fact that 80% of workers in the UK say that they’ve felt stress while at work, with more than half (54%) saying that they’ve taken this work stress home. Beyond feeling stressed, IIP’s survey also sought to outline how contributing factors impacted employees, with findings suggesting that just 36% of UK employees feel that their workplace supports their mental wellbeing, while only 40% of workers would trust their manager with a mental health concern.
Of the Managing Mental Health findings, IIP CEO Paul Devoy: “There has never been greater awareness of the intrinsic link between mental wellbeing and business productivity across the UK workforce than there is today. Equally, there has been an evolution in our collective expectation of what employers should do to support the mental health of their workers.”
Paul continued: “It’s my hope that employers and employees alike will read our Managing Mental Health report and understand that mental health must be borne in mind just as physical health is. A lack of visible symptoms does not guarantee that someone is completely happy and healthy. The fact that the majority of UK workers are stressed should be enough to convince business leaders that they must do more.”
Investors in People is proud to support the positive action stemming from World Mental Health Week and to promote the central tenet of our Health & Wellbeing Award mission; that healthy, happy employees are vital to business longevity and productivity.