Mental health affects us all. 9 in 10 employees have been touched by mental health challenges, either themselves or a family member, whether this is workplace stress or a significant illness (Accenture, It’s not 1in4; It’s all of us report, 2018).
A problem shared is a problem halved – research shows that talking openly about emotional and mental wellbeing can make a real difference, and in some cases can save lives.
However, despite us spending a large proportion of our life at work, 61% of those facing a mental health challenge haven’t spoken to anyone at work (Accenture, It’s not 1in4; It’s all of us report, 2018). In fact, only 16% of employees feel comfortable disclosing a mental health issue to their line manager (BITC Mental Health at Work 2018)
As well as affecting our health and wellbeing, there’s a big economic impact. £33bn -£42bn is the annual cost to employers of poor mental health (Deloitte, Mental Health and Wellbeing in Employment, 2017), through sick days and low productivity. Employees in supportive companies are more motivated; they are twice as likely as others to say they love their jobs. They are also more likely to plan to stay with their employer for at least the next year (Accenture, It’s not 1in4; It’s all of us report, 2018), helping to retain knowledge and reduce recruitment costs.
The will is there, but more needs to be done: 85% of managers now acknowledge that employee wellbeing is their responsibility but only 30% of line managers have taken part in mental health training (BITC Mental Health at Work 2018). But there are resources and tools out there to support employers and employees to communicate about mental health.
This is Me from The Lord Mayor’s Appeal is committed to changing attitudes around mental health and strives to create healthier and more inclusive workplaces by reducing stigma, dispelling myths, and improving employee wellbeing for good.
It does this through three key strands – This is Me Storytelling, where organisations encourage their employees to open the conversation around mental health by sharing their personal experiences; The Green Ribbon which sees employees to wear green ribbons to raise awareness of mental ill-health and visibly show their support for ending the stigma; and Wellbeing in the Workplace online training in which businesses upskill their employees in having conversations about mental health.
Anyone can sign up to be a part of this groundbreaking initiative that is committed to changing attitudes around mental health and strives to create healthier and more inclusive workplaces.
For more information head to The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s This is Me page.