We're Ready to Talk: One Year On

Executive Summary / Introduction

People are working longer, harder and in tougher times than ever before. This is resulting in unprecedented levels of pressure on employees, with common mental health conditions like anxiety, stress and depression rising and resulting in higher levels of absence and presenteeism.

The remarkable achievements made over the past year range from new public support from senior business leaders to creating new, dedicated programmes to embed the promotion of positive mental wellbeing into business strategy and organisational policy. Our champion organisations employ nearly half a million people in the UK alone, many of whom will have directly benefited from these initiatives.

- Patrick Watt,
Corporate Director, Bupa UK

However, there is still a damaging culture of silence around mental health, with people reluctant to talk openly about the issue for fear of stigma and discrimination. This is not only causing a huge amount of personal suffering; it is also costing
UK employers £26 billion a year. In April 2014, leading businesses came together to create a landmark campaign to bring an end to the culture of silence around mental health. They recognised the overwhelming business and moral
case for taking action and identified the need and opportunity for a business-led movement to drive change. This mission was outlined in the campaign’s inaugural report, Mental Health: We’re Ready to Talk, produced in alliance with Mind and Time to Change. These companies put a stake in the ground for pioneering a new kind of relationship between businesses and their employees, committing to take action to create parity between mental and physical health. This has been
achieved by taking a proactive, integrated approach to wellbeing rooted in the framework of Business in the Community’s (BITC) Workwell Model and by making a public commitment to the Time to Change pledge.

The Full Story

This update on progress over the past year shows how a collaborative, business-led approach to tackling the stigma around mental health at work is bringing enormous success, and helping to support good mental health to become business as usual. Case studies Progress reports on case studies in the original research piece, 'We're Ready to Talk: rethinking the approach to mental wellbeing in the workplace', published April 2014 are featured.