How to improve the mental health of your employees

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week (May 13-19), we are highlighting the help available for employers to tackle mental ill health in the workplace.

Mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and unmanageable stress affect one-in-four British workers in any given year while absence and lost productivity caused by mental ill health are estimated to cost businesses between £33bn and £42bn a year.

Rob Johnston, Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is crucial for businesses to pay close attention to the health and wellbeing of employees – especially when firms are facing challenges finding and retaining staff.

“While many businesses are aware of mental health concerns, and act accordingly, too many turn a blind eye. This is an issue that saps productivity, morale and individual wellbeing.

“Cumbria Chamber has been highlighting this issue for some time.

“Last year we recorded a podcast with the mental health charity Mind, to provide useful pointers for employers, and this February we helped to launch the This is Me campaign in Cumbria.”

This is Me is a national initiative that aims to break the culture of silence around mental ill health at work by supporting people to tell their stories. Individuals wear a green ribbon to show their support.

Click here to find out more about This is Me.

Here to listen to the Chamber podcast with Mind.

Here to download a copy of Taking Care of Business, Mind’s guide for employers to mentally healthy workplaces.

And  here to download Mind’s Guide to Wellness action plans for line managers or employees.

Rob added: “The Chamber offers member businesses a health care and wellbeing plan to offer staff as part of an employee benefits’ package.

“The plan includes a counselling and advice line. Significantly, 45% of calls to this service are related to mental health.

“Tackling mental health concerns need not break the bank. Reviewing workloads, considering flexible working and improving the skills of managers are simple measures that can help build a more productive workforce.”

“Doing so will reap rewards for both employee and employer. We believe in this so much it’s something we are doing for our own staff already.”

For more information on the Chamber’s health care and wellbeing plan click here  and to find out about Chamber membership click here.

© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce