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Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace

Whilst the subject has come to the forefront of the media over the last 12-18 months, through the work of The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge + The Prince Harry has carried out with Heads Together Charitable Foundation Partnership, it’s likely to be a shock to many that a report commissioned by the UK Prime Minister in January 2017 (released today 26th October 2017)  stated:

“While there are more people at work with mental health conditions than ever before, 300,000 people with a long term mental health problem lose their jobs each year, and at a much higher rate than those
with physical health conditions.”


This study led to the report concluding that underneath the stigma that surrounds mental
health, it also prevents open discussion on the subject and the UK faces a significant mental
health challenge at work unless this is tackled head-on.

Figures are taken from a recent mental health survey on behalf of Unum.

Whilst today’s report and media paint, what some people may consider a negative view of mental health, there’s an important point to raise that those people struggling with their mental health difficulties make a large contribution to our economy.


There’s a number of recommendations given in today’s report commission on behalf of the UK government including:

  1. Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
  2. Develop mental health awareness among employees
  3. Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling
  4. Provide your employees with good working conditions
  5. Promote effective people management
  6. Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing.

They also recommend that all employers, regardless of workplace type,  industry or size adopt the mental health core standards. This will ensure ‘breadth’ of change across the UK workforce and lay the foundations for going further and can be delivered proportionally depending on the size and type of business.

The mental health core standards should provide a framework for workplace mental health and they have designed them in a way that they can be tailored to suit a variety of workplaces and be implemented by even the smallest employers.

To view the full 84-page report click here.

Don’t forget – There’s a number of government-led services that will help you tackle the prejudice around mental health in the workplace, including NHS Mental Health Trusts in your local county or district.

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