Employers still underestimate the prevalence of mental health issues in their workplace

Release Date: 01 October 2012

Source: Mental Health Foundation

Country: United Kingdom

Simon Lawton Smith, Head of Policy at the Mental Health Foundations respond to the IDEA survey suggesting that British workers 'most depressed in Europe:

“Businesses are facing tough times. The uncertain economic outlook brings with it a looming threat of redundancies, which is putting employees at increased risk of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

We welcome the IDEA survey, which employers simply cannot afford to ignore. Between issues like rising absenteeism and impaired productivity amongst those who remain at work, mental health problems now cost employers over £26bn a year. Employers still underestimate the prevalence of mental health issues in their workplace and three-quarters of workplaces still have no mental health policy. And until employers put mental health on their Board’s agenda and tackle the stigma and negative perceptions around mental illness, many employees will simply not be prepared to take the risk and disclose their health condition.

The good news is that there is a wealth of information and guidance for employers on creating mentally healthy workplaces and supporting employees who may be experiencing mental health problems. Our mental health in the workplace booklet addresses the ways in which employers can help to create a psychologically healthy work environment.”