Although a certain amount of stress is good for us, if this gets too much this can affect or work and home life and our physical and mental health.  

Many people will have found the last 19 months particularly difficult for different reasons, they may have also experienced additional stress and pressure resulting in a detrimental impact on their mental health.  

If your employees are suffering from stress, what steps can you take to ensure that your workplace becomes happier and healthier?

“Work-related stress, anxiety or depression statistics in Great Britain, 2020”, a report prepared by the HSE explains that “the total number of cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2019/20 was 828,000, a prevalence rate of 2,440 per 100,000 workers. This was statistically significantly higher than the previous period.

The rate of work-related stress depression and anxiety has increased in recent years.

The total number of working days lost due to this condition in 2019/20 was 17.9 million days. This equated to an average of 21.6 days lost per case.

In 2019/20 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 51% of all work-related ill health cases and 55% of all working days lost due to work-related ill health.”

It’s likely that the effect of the pandemic will have exacerbated this further.

It is arguable that SMEs will feel the effect of mental health related absences more than larger organisations as often, they do not have the capacity to cover any absences or the resources to bring in skilled temporary labour.

All employers can however improve absence rates by proactively managing mental wellbeing in their workforce.

Employers could consider introducing one or more of the following initiatives;

  • Nominating and sending an individual/s on a Mental Health at Work First Aider and identifying that individual to the workforce.
  • Requesting all employees complete a Wellness Action Plan which can be discussed with a line manager either in review meetings or as a separately arranged wellness meeting.
  • Encouraging the workforce to talk about how they are feeling and encourage a culture where it is ok to discuss mental wellbeing.
  • Implement and launch a wellness app such as Everymind amongst the workforce to encourage individuals to proactively and discreetly manage their own mental wellbeing.
  • Having a readily available and accessible list of mental health support / resources available.
  • If you have an EAP scheme in place, remind the workforce of its availability as often there will be access to counselling services or self-help programmes.
  • Train all line managers to spot the early signs of poor mental health amongst their workforce.

If you want to know more or want to discuss any initiative or even a particular case that you are dealing with do not hesitate to call us to speak to a member of the team.