Published: Sat, October 28, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Mental ill-health costs Britain £99 billion a year

Mental ill-health costs Britain £99 billion a year

The most progressive organisations in this area are already being quite open in terms of their internal reporting and what they put on their intranet in terms of how they support their staff with mental health and well-being issues.

Most of the media led with headlines stating that 300,000 people with long-term mental health conditions leave work each year - twice the rate of those without mental health conditions.

"We found that in many workplaces, mental health is still a taboo subject and that opportunities are missed to prevent poor mental health and ensure employees who may be struggling get the support they need", said Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind.

The review quantifies how investing in supporting mental health at work is good for business and productivity.

The NHS and the Civil Service, two of the country's largest employers, have already announced that they will abide by the recommendations that apply to them - meaning that more than two million public sector workers will receive tailored in-house mental health support.

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The administrative costs that might be incurred by keeping the employee on the books. Anything which can be done to reduce the use of formal procedures is to be welcomed; all employers and HR officers should be giving serious thought to implementing the six core standards around mental health proposed in the Thriving at Work report. These cover mental health at work plans, mental health awareness for employees, line management responsibilities and routine monitoring of staff mental health and wellbeing.

These recommendations are based on best practice or evidence, and the authors state there is a "pressing need" for more robust evidence about what works to support improved mental health at work.

The report urged the government to "consider legislative change to enhance protections for employees with mental health conditions, particularly fluctuating mental health conditions, and clarify the role of employers in providing reasonable adjustments".

The Retreat, Nigeria's first goal built mental hospital recently deployed psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, and mental health nurses, in a free mental treatment and awareness forum to mark the World Mental Health Day at the Ikorodu axis of Lagos. For some, this is a short-term problem and they can continue at work, or return to work after sickness absence, with appropriate support.

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