World mental health day, colour

Mental Health Affecting the World of Work

Across the world, it’s estimated that 264 million people suffer from depression.1 Depression is one of the main causes of disability, and many who suffer from depression also suffer from symptoms of anxiety. A recent study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the world economy US$ 1 trillion every year in lost productivity at work.

World Mental Health Day on the 10th October has been created for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against the social stigma around mental health.2

Mental health disorders include a broad range of problems, and are generally characterised by some combination of abnormal emotions, thoughts, behaviour and relationships with others - most of these can be successfully treated.1 See below stats from across the world, across multiple sectors that Impellam operates in:

Mental Health at Work stats

Last year, the 12th biennial TUC survey of workplace health and safety representative in the UK was published in the run-up to World Mental Health day. TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady commented: “Employers and managers need to do more to reduce risks and provide support to employees struggling to cope.”

Ways to create a healthy workplace environment include2:

  1. Creating a culture of openness by encouraging people to talk about mental health;
  2. Reviewing job descriptions to ensure these set out clear and realistic expectations. If not, this might be contributing to mental distress amoung people;
  3. Conducting regular surveys to take a temperature check on wellbeing, and feedback results and progress to your people;
  4. Ensuring line mangers spend time with their team to get to know them – this makes it easier for managers to spot when their team members are struggling uncharacteristically at work;
  5. Creating an Employee Assistance Programme to provide additional support for your people if they’re having difficulties inside or outside of the workplace.

Mental health disorders can affect everyone – no matter what sector, team or role you work in. It’s essential that businesses promote mental health and support their people with mental disorders, in order to cope with the changing world of work. The most important assets in any business is people, which is why all Impellam people have access to an Employee Assistance Programme relevant to the region that they operate in. For further guidance on promoting mental health in the workplace, or Employee Assistance Programmes, click here to contact us.

1 www.who.int

2 www.mentalhealth.org.uk

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