Mental Health : An Individual 's Psychological And Emotional Wellbeing

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Mental health refers to an individual’s psychological and emotional wellbeing (World Health Organisation, 2014). With over 25 million UK residents (Mental Health Foundation, 1999) spending a large majority of their time at work, it is important that concerns for a person’s welfare extend to the workplace. Every year mental health problems, including stress, anxiety and depression affect 1 in 6 British employees (Mental Health Foundation, 1999). Despite this, a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) survey of over 800 companies found that only 1 in 10 of these companies had an official mental health policy (Mental Health Foundation, 1999). Mental health, it appears, is still a taboo subject in the workplace. Studies have shown that…show more content…
In a three-month period, individuals with depression miss an average of 4.8 workdays and suffer 11.5 days of reduced productivity (Ref,), resulting in an estimated 91 million working days being lost every year to mental ill-health (The Mental Health Foundation, 1999). These figures are higher than those resulting from a physical illness or injury.
Employers, under UK law have a ‘duty of care’- to protect the health, safety and welfare of their staff (Health and Safety Act, 1984). Therefore, introducing health and wellbeing programmes/interventions will have a positive outcome for employers and employees alike. Research has shown that such measures increase job satisfaction for employees (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2008), and in turn increases levels of job performance, overall satisfaction and mental health, and reduces sickness absence and staff turnover. For organisations that actively promote good mental health in the workplace, they experience increased efficiencies and profits. Consider the major electricity provider- EDF Energy. “A workplace audit showed that the company was losing around £1.4 million in productivity each year as a result of mental ill health among its employees. As part of an Employee Support Programme, the company offered psychological support (cognitive behavioural therapy) to employees and trained over 1000
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