Mental Health

The good news is that according to a large-scale study by the Mental Health Charity Mind Employers are getting better at managing mental ill-health says Chris Wilkinson from Expert HR Solutions.  The not so good news, he continues is that the study shows that 26% of Employees who describe their mental health as poor say that work is the main cause.  When you consider that around 12% of employees suffer from poor mental health the problem is widespread and likely to be present in most workplaces.

The research also laid bare the discrepancy between Employees and Line Managers with 54% of the former feeling supported by their line manager, but 73% of managers said they would feel confident supporting an employee experiencing a mental health problem.  Part of this discrepancy may be explained by the fact that only 26% of employees said they would be likely to seek support if they were experiencing a mental health issue.

Generally the research showed a greater awareness by management of external and internal support mechanisms with 72% of employees suffering from mental health issues saying they had been made aware of support tools such as employee assistance programmes, counselling, staff support networks or informal buddying systems.  Those that had been offered reasonable adjustments was found to be 56% such as changes to hours worked or the nature of some of their workplace duties.

Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, said the charity had noticed employers taking “great strides when it comes to tackling stress and supporting the mental wellbeing of their staff” over the last few years. She added that forward-thinking employers were making mental health a priority: “We’ve seen good practice right across the board, from each and every one of the 30 pioneering employers to take part.”

Here at Expert HR Solutions we have experience of dealing with these difficult and sensitive issues says Chris as in a previous incarnation he worked for one of the largest EAP providers in the UK.  If you believe any of your staff are suffering from mental health issues why not give us a call on 01202 611033, the initial consultation will be free, confidential and very supportive.