Poor mental health costs Welsh employers £1,557 a year per employee, according to Deloitte analysis.
With one in six workers experiencing a mental health problem at any one time, and stress thought to be responsible for almost half of working days lost in Britain due to health issues, mental health and the workplace have a complex relationship.
What is the return on investment?
It’s a great question right? It’s also the most frequently asked question when running a business of any size. I already know that my research is outdated; the current pandemic sweeping the world will undoubtably shatter the stats that I can find relating to investment in mental health training.
Unfortunately, a rise in undiagnosed mental ill health is inevitable, due to many working from home, many who live alone, the families and friends of those taken by the virus and the front-line workers in the NHS who have seen so many fall to Covid 19.
So, until we have a true understanding of the impact of this virus, I will draw on findings from Deloitte research that was published in 2017. This will give us an understanding of the impact of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
What the report says
The report makes a great case for investment, explaining a £5 return for every £1 spent and it also describes the positive findings in larger workforces such as more open and honest conversations around mental health and more support to get people back to work.
It also explains the additional costs for mental health related ‘presenteeism’, when employees are at work but not performing at their best, this along with staff turnover and mental health related absenteeism which are contributing to the overall cost.
What is also worth considering, especially now, is the additional use of technology to enable people to work from home. In theory this is great but the implications are an ‘always on’ attitude to work making it difficult to switch off.
The general public are much more aware of mental health issues than ever before and with the spotlight on the workplace from a political perspective, employers are realising the need for further development of workplace strategies for mental health and wellbeing.
Supporting your workforce
The need for a greater understanding of mental health issues has never been so great, spotting the signs and symptoms and getting those in need the right help at the earliest opportunity is how we keep our workforce happy and healthy. Supporting employees with workplace action plans will not just keep people employed, it will help them and your business thrive.
How training helps
Ian Howse, a partner at Deloitte in Wales, said: “As our ways of working evolve, so do expectations of employers about how we should support our people. This analysis shows very clearly that it pays for employers to provide mental health support at work.
“Support can come in many forms. For example, I’m a mental health first aider for our people in our Cardiff office. Early intervention is vital, for those experiencing poor mental health and employers alike.
“With one in four adults in Wales1 likely to experience mental ill health at some point in their lives, it’s something that Welsh businesses of all sizes could consider implementing for their workforce.”
What we offer
We have three accredited First Aid for Mental Health courses level 1-3. Our training is accredited by the FAA Ltd and regulated by Ofqual.
To find out more about our training packages including our NEW online distance learning visit YourNorth.
1 Welsh Government publication, September 2017: “Prosperity for All: the national strategy”
Author – Jamie Farr