Today is #TimeToTalk day – a great attempt to get people talking about Mental Health in the work place.   In the words of Time to Talk:

“Time to Talk Day is a chance for all of us to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives. Wherever you are – at home, at work or up the top of a mountain! – have your conversation about mental health today.”

It’s a great campaign and one everyone should get behind – not just for the day.

Mental health in the workplace

The issue of mental health in the workplace is probably a lot more significant than most people realise.  An extensive study by Business in the Community in 2016 (of nearly 20,000 people carried out by YouGov) found that:

  • 77% of employees have experienced symptoms of poor mental health at some point and 29% been diagnosed with a mental health condition;
  • 62% of employees attributed their symptoms of poor mental health to work or said that work was a contributing factor;
  • 35% of employees did not approach anyone for support the last time they experienced poor mental health;
  • Only 11% of employees discussed a recent mental health problem with their line manager;
  • 76% of line managers believe employee wellbeing is their responsibility, yet only 22% of managers have received some form of training on mental health at work;
  • 30% of employees think their employer doesn’t support people well who experience mental health problems, and 30% don’t know either way.

Mental health in the work place is key issue for all organisations to get right.   Looking at the statistics its highly probable that around 75% of your workforce will at some stage experience poor mental health.   Of those, well over half are likely to attribute symptoms to work.
Neglect the issue and you are not only missing out on an element of human decency and compassion towards your team you will also risk:

  • severely impacting performance – and miss opportunities to enhance this;
  • impacting staff retention and absenteeism (as well as presenteesism);
  • impacting reputation and recruitment;
  • facing legal action for breach of duty of care or similar.

Key questions for you

So, if you are in senior management some questions for you:

  • Do you think your team are aware of the extent of the problem? How many people would be in the right ballpark at guesses on the above?
  • Do you have a culture where your staff can raise mental health problems without fear?
  • Are managers trained in how to deal with mental health issues when staff raise them?
  • Do you have clear and easily accessible policies?
  • Is your perception really reflective of that of your managers and staff?

About Us: WorkInConfidence provide systems to help ensure any member of staff can easily and anonymously raise concerns, problems or ideas giving you a better understanding of your organisation.

WorkInConfidence PULSE platform underpins a healthy culture by redefining how you connect, engage and communicate with your people. Protect your people by providing a secure environment for sharing issues or ideas. Understand and Learn about the health of your organisation with regular real-time measurements; Share and Excite by diving in, top to bottom, bottom to top and side to side where teams offer instant feedback on improvements and direction.