Adrian Lewis, Director, Activ Absence discusses this issue on World Mental Health Day
On World Mental Health Day, absence management expert Adrian Lewis, Director of Codel Software discusses how UK businesses could benefit from utilising tools and technology to tackle employee mental health issues head on.
Adrian highlights that in September research from the NHS claimed that one in three ‘sick notes’ are issued for mental health , making psychiatric problems the most common reason for people to take time off work.
Adrian Lewis says;
“Absenteeism costs UK businesses approximately £2.4 billion per year and with mental health now the number one reason for people to miss work, are companies doing enough to proactively tackle mental health issues head on?”
“There are several preventative measures employers can take to spot early warning signs but these are often overlooked. Commonly, employers only become aware of an issue when an employee is signed off sick with anxiety or stress – this is too late. By then, their performance, confidence and productivity is likely to have been affected.”
“It doesn’t have to be this way. We would like to see employers encouraging greater openness about mental health so sufferers don’t feel isolated, stigmatized or scared they will lose their jobs if they admit to having problems. It’s important to send a clear message that workers who are suffering from stress or depression will receive support and not judgement.
“With open and regular communications about mental health issues, good tracking and monitoring of absence data to keep on top of issues and by proactively signposting support services available through EAPs, such as counselling, companies can take big strides towards improving the mental wellbeing of their workforce.”