If you work in any organisation, chances are you have come across someone who is battling with mental health or stress. The latest statistics* show that 3 times more people are susceptible to losing their jobs because of poor mental health than physical health. It also found that over 300 000 people leave employment each year due to long term mental health conditions.
In addition, the Government’s green paper on mental health (released May 2018) shows that 1 in 4 people in the UK will present with a mental health problem at some point. Most common will be anxiety and depression, often triggered by a change in circumstances or a life changing event (death or divorce) but often stems from work situations.
So, what does it all mean?
In a nutshell, wellbeing or mental health refers to how we feel, how we behave and our thinking processes. The most common trigger in a workplace is stress which often presents in physical reactions (higher blood pressure, pain, headaches etc). Stress is how you react to a stimuli (either real or perceived) as well as the intensity of that experience (once-off or prolonged). The important factor is what is causing the stress and how the two are related.
The Stevenson/Farmer report reviewed the role that employers can have in supporting the individuals in their employ around wellbeing and mental health. They set out a framework of actions known as ‘Core Standards’. These are a set of recommendations to help employers improve the conditions in their workplaces to enable employees to both communicate about their mental health concerns, cope better and ultimately thrive.
They call on Companies to ‘take action’ and be responsible for helping to manage and prevent stress at work. This starts with awareness and knowledge. Not only of yourself and your stress but also of your team and colleagues. What are the red flags? What must you be aware of? If you experience this yourself, or spot something, what do you do?
Family Focus UK was set up in direct response to these questions – focusing on emotional wellbeing and providing knowledge and support to adults and adolescents, working or not. We believe that information is key and even a small step in an altered direction can have a big impact on how you and others feel.
So, if you are not sure what to do – why not start with giving us a call to do a wellbeing needs analysis of your workplace.. Or read the report below and start a conversation around this topic in your office.
* 2017 Government commissioned review by Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer (Chief Executive of Mind) called ‘Thriving at Work’. Read the report at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/658145/thriving-at-work-stevenson-farmer-review.pdf