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Each year 1 in 4 individuals are likely to experience a mental health problem with one-sixth of Britain’s working age population experiencing symptoms associated with mental ill health annually (office of national statistics).

Mental health issues have a significant impact on both employees and employers and are a major cause of long-term absence from the workplace with ONS research showing that 12.7% of all sickness absence days can be attributed to mental health conditions. Obviously this has a huge knock on effect costing UK businesses billions of pounds each year. But the ripple effect is even greater than that.

Creating a safe space

Organisations have a duty of care to look after the well-being of their staff and it’s clear that this also makes good financial sense. Happy and valued staff will want to keep working for your business and the impact of employees seeing the workplace as a ‘safe space’ can be fundamental in creating a positive and sustainable working environment. But raising awareness and implementing training around staff mental health and well-being can feel overwhelming for organisations to put into practice as there is no one-size fits all approach.

Businesses are unique and with that comes a unique culture so what works for one organisation may not be the right approach for another. What does seem to be consistent across organisations is that the most important element of creating a supportive and mentally healthy place to work starts with its people, with organisations focusing on understanding their staff’s needs, attitudes and behaviours in order to develop the right approach.

Read the full article on the HR Director’s website

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