Monday 9 January 2017 3:00 am

Prime Minister Theresa May pledges to transform support for mental health in the workplace with extensive new review

Prime Minister Theresa May will today unveil a new partnership to improve mental health support in the workplace in a raft of plans to "transform" assistance across society. 

Long-time campaigner Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind and chair of the NHS Mental Health Taskforce, will lead a review with business and the public sector on how employees with mental health problems can be supported at work. 

This will involve practical help, including promoting best practice and learning from "trailblazer employers", offering tools to organisations to assist with employee wellbeing and review recommendations on mental health-related workplace discrimination.

Read more: Workers with mental health issues contribute £226bn to UK GDP

Other pledges that will be announced during the Charity Commission's annual lecture include significant new support for schools and young people, and providing further alternatives to hospital to help people at a community level. 

One in four people is estimated to have a common mental health disorder at any one time. The economic and social cost of mental illness in the UK has been calculated at £105bn, similar to the NHS's entire annual budget. 

Read more: Just 14 per cent of firms have mental health plans for staff

In the City, research has found around two-thirds of investment bankers have considered quitting their jobs due to rising stress levels. However, mental health stigma, specifically around fears that such issues will damage their careers, lead many to keep quiet. 

"We welcome the announcements around a focus on prevention in schools and workplaces and support for people in crisis," said Farmer.

Read more: Mental health is being ignored by UK business

"Mental health is everyone’s business and we need to see sustained leadership to make sure services and support improve for all of us with mental health problems."