An independent review, published in October 2017, looked into the impact of poor mental health in the workplace. ‘Thriving at Work: a review of mental health and employers’ by Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, concluded that poor mental health costs employers between £33 billion and £42 billion a year, with an annual cost to the UK economy of between £74 billion and £99 billion.
Employers, and in particular managers, play a key role in supporting the physical as well as the mental wellbeing of their team members. A healthy managers’ approach can create a supportive, non-judgmental ethos within the team allowing team members to flourish.
There are operational, legal, financial and moral reasons to give mental wellbeing a priority in the workplace; managers who are well informed in this area will be much more effective in making this a priority.
Currently the biggest single reason why people leave the workplace is issues relating to mental ill-health. Absenteeism is incredibly costly and disruptive to all organisations. Presenteeism (coming to work when ill) has been estimated to be twice as costly as absenteeism; this hidden cost has massive impacts on performance and health & safety.
‘The Thriving at Work’ report recommends 6 ‘mental health core standards,’ as a starting point for managing mental health in the workplace. These standards include the implementation of a mental health at work plan; raising awareness of mental health; and encouraging open conversations with regard to the relevant support available.
Further details of the Thriving at Work report: