The High Cost of Ignoring Mental Health: How Untreated Mental Illnesses Hurts Your Business.
Mental illness is a significant concern for individuals, families, and businesses across the UK and Europe. In fact, mental illness is the leading cause of disability and lost productivity globally, with an estimated 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem in any given year in the UK alone. Despite this, many businesses in the UK and Europe still overlook mental health, leading to significant financial costs and negative impacts on employees.
Untreated mental illness can result in decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and high turnover rates. Employees with untreated mental illnesses are also more likely to make mistakes, experience workplace accidents, and have conflicts with colleagues, which can impact overall team morale and productivity. This can result in significant financial costs for businesses, including increased healthcare expenses, lost productivity, and increased workers’ compensation claims.
To address mental health in the workplace, businesses in the UK and Europe can take a range of proactive measures. This includes providing mental health resources and support, such as employee assistance programs (EAPs), counselling services, and access to mental health professionals. Additionally, businesses can work to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health by creating a culture of openness and acceptance, where employees feel comfortable discussing mental health concerns.
Leaders in the workplace can also play a critical role in addressing mental health. They can lead by example, by prioritising their own mental health and promoting a healthy work-life balance. Leaders can also work to create policies and practices that support mental health, such as flexible work schedules and job sharing.
Fortunately, there are steps that businesses in the UK and Europe can take to address mental health in the workplace. Employers can provide mental health benefits, such as counselling services, and encourage employees to use them. Additionally, creating a supportive work environment where employees feel comfortable discussing mental health can help reduce stigma and promote open communication.
Leaders can also prioritise mental health by providing resources and training for managers and employees on mental health awareness and self-care. Offering flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and flexible hours, can also help reduce stress and promote work-life balance.
When businesses prioritise mental health, they can see significant benefits, including increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and improved employee morale. By investing in mental health, businesses can improve their bottom line while also supporting the well-being of their employees.
Addressing mental health in the UK and Europe is gaining increased attention and momentum, with many businesses recognising the need to prioritise the well-being of their employees. Organisations are recognising the positive impacts of investing in mental health, including increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and improved employee morale.
In the UK, the government has introduced initiatives such as the Thriving at Work report, which aims to support employers in promoting mental health and well-being in the workplace. In Europe, organisations such as the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion provide guidance and resources to promote mental health in the workplace.
Many businesses are taking proactive steps to address mental health, such as providing mental health resources and support, training managers and employees on mental health awareness, and promoting a culture of openness and acceptance. Some companies have even introduced mental health days, allowing employees to take time off specifically for their mental health.
Employees are also increasingly vocal about their mental health needs, with many organisations recognising the importance of providing mental health support and resources to their employees. This includes access to counselling services, employee assistance programs (EAPs), and mental health professionals.
Ultimately, addressing mental health in the workplace is not only the right thing to do but also a smart business decision. By prioritising mental health, businesses in the UK and Europe can improve employee morale, productivity, and retention, while also reducing healthcare costs and legal liabilities.
- Mind. (2021). Mental Health in the Workplace. Retrieved from https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/about-mental-health-in-the-workplace/
- Mental Health Europe. (2021). Mental Health in the Workplace. Retrieved from https://www.mhe-sme.org/topics/mental-health-in-the-workplace/
- European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. (2021). Mental Health in the Workplace. Retrieved from https://osha.europa.eu/en/themes/psychosocial-risks-and-stress/mental-health-workplace
- GOV.UK. (2017). Thriving at Work: A Review of Mental Health and Employers. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/thriving-at-work-a-review-of-mental-health-and-employers
- European Network for Workplace Health Promotion. (n.d.). https://www.enwhp.org/