Mental health

Talk: Break the culture of silence that surrounds mental health by taking the Time to Change Employers Pledge 
Train: Invest in basic mental health literacy for all employees 
Take action:  Implement the practical guidance found in Business in the Community's mental health for employers toolkit 

Business is waking up to the scale of poor mental health in the workplace, but there is still a long way to go.  Our second National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey in partnership with YouGov, part of a three-year collaborative project with business and five national partners, reveals that although there has been progress against our three calls to action and recommendations in the 2016 report, too many men and women with mental health issues are suffering in silence in work, unable to seek help from colleagues or managers.  Fears of prejudice and exclusion are limiting employee's ability to achieve their full potential. 

Talk: Break the culture of silence that surrounds mental health by taking the Time to Change Employers Pledge 
Train: Invest in basic mental health literacy for all employees 
Take action:  Close the gap by asking all staff their experiences to identify the disconnects that exist in the organisation

We undertook a national survey to understand the reality of how mental health is experienced at work.  The survey results tell us that progress is being made but there is a need for greater organisational awareness of the support required for better mental health at work. Significant and potentially damaging disconnects exist that demand an urgent response from business.
Employers need to recognise the scale of poor mental health in the workplace and take significant steps to reduce the risk of their workplace being a contributor.  Employers have a duty of care to their employees to respond to mental ill health just as theywould to a physical illness.  Organisations should equip their managers with the tools, support and organisational culture they need to do their job well, which must include managing employees with mental health issues. It makes good business sense to foster a culture of openness that supports employees with a mental health issue to work and stay in work.
This guide is designed to help you identify suitable mental health awareness training for your employees, as part of a broader strategy to create an open, supportive culture around mental health.
Mental ill-health is one of the biggest public health challenges facing society. It is one of the leading causes of sickness absence in the workplace and can cause immense suffering to those experiencing it – as well as those closest to them. There is an overwhelming business and moral case for employers to address this challenge.

Mental ill-health is one of the leading causes of sickness absence in the UK It is estimated to cost UK employers £25bn each year More managers are experiencing stress-related ill-health and symptoms of psychological ill-health Three in five managers are concerned about the impact of longer working hours on their stress levelsOver half of managers are concerned about the impact of longer working hours on their psychological health63% of parents who are managers are worried about the impact their working hours have on relationships with their childrenThe average manager works an extra 46 days each year

Line managers play a crucial role in promoting positive employee wellbeing. As the workplace continues to evolve at a rapid pace, there is increasing pressure on line managers to deliver business objectives at the same time as supporting the wellbeing of employees. It is vital that line managers receive the best possible support to help them manage these responsibilities effectively. This report highlights the evidence for empowering line managers to make a greater positive impact on employee wellbeing. It contains insight from industry experts, advice on how organisations can take action and features the voices of line managers themselves as well as case studies of effective support programmes.
The futureIt is time that we provide line managers with the wellbeing support they deserve and take the necessary steps to empower them to promote wellbeing within their teams.Businesses in the Community is calling on businesses to make Mental Health First Aid training available to line managers to ensure that they are able and confident in supporting employees who may be experiencing mental health issues in the workplace. Mental Health First Aid training is available through various providers, and is one of the benefits of Business in the Community wellbeing membership

Key Findings

Aim: Help employees shift their view of health benefits, engage in preventative care, and be inspired to adopt new healthier behaviours that benefit individuals and their families
Activity: Development of American Express Services Europe Healthy Living Programme
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 costingUK 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 moralcase 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 beenachieved 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.