Bank of England governor Mark Carney and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have thrown their weight behind a campaign led by the Lord Mayor of the City of London to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace.
This comes as new research from the Institute of Directors (IoD) shows that business leaders have seen an increase in the number of staff raising mental health concerns in the last 14 months.
The Lord Mayor is today launching a green ribbon campaign to coincide with mental health awareness week (14-20 May), encouraging people to wear green ribbons as a show of solidarity and as a bid to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
Khan said: “Around one in four Londoners will experience mental health problems during their lives. That’s why I wanted to let Londoners know how they can show their support this mental health awareness week.”
This is Me, the Lord Mayor’s appeal, has partnered with Thrive LDN, which is a project that aims to improve the mental health of Londoners.
Khan said: “Thrive have partnered with the Lord Mayor’s ‘This is Me’ green ribbon campaign, and, together, we want to help dispel myths around poor mental health in the workplace.”
As part of the 'This is Me' campaign a number of major buildings will be lit up green including the Bank of England, the Canary Wharf office of bank J.P. Morgan, accountancy firm PwC’s Embankment office, the Cannon Street office of investment company Fidelity International and the National Theatre.
Carney said: “Lighting the Bank of England green and wearing green ribbons during mental health awareness week says to colleagues: 'it’s ok…we know the issue exists and we stand with you.' Others may wonder why their building is glowing a funny shade of neon and get on google or ask someone. Good. Suddenly, mental health is on their radar and they’re having an open conversation about it.”
The campaign aims to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace by encouraging employees to talk more openly about their mental health and wellbeing.
It comes as IoD research shows that increasing numbers of business leaders report employees approaching them about their mental health.
The survey of 700 business leaders shows four in 10 have been approached by staff regarding mental health concerns, up by 12 percentage points since 2017.
Poor relationships with line management and workload have the biggest negative impact on employees’ mental health, followed by poor relationships with colleagues, the survey shows.
The impact of poor mental health on businesses is underlined by the finding that more than 40 per cent of respondents are aware of specific cases within their own organisation where staff had to take time off due to mental health problems.
However, fewer than 20 per cent of directors surveyed said their organisation offered mental health training for management.
Mental health concerns are a particularly big problem in the financial services industry, which according to new research by law firm Clyde & Co, has the third-highest level of mental health self-reporting of any sector.
Analysis of fourteen years of data from the labour force survey, a national quarterly survey of 37,000 households, showed the prevalence of self-reported mental health per 100,000 employees was 1,890 in the financial services sector.
Financial services was the sector with the third highest prevalence for mental health self-reporting, with two in every 100 workers reporting issues, with heath and social work and public administration and defence the only sectors with a a greater prevalence.
Chris Holme, an employment partner at Clyde & Co, said: “Organisations across all sectors need to check that the management of mental health remains firmly on their agenda. It's a business critical issue that is increasingly moving to the forefront.”