How can employers improve mental health in the workplace?

Employers need to put improving mental health at the top of the agenda or risk a loss in profits and productivity, a new report has claimed.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission in Wales, which published the research, said employers lose millions of pounds every year because mental illness is being ignored.

It suggests tackling the problem head on will, in fact, reduce sick days and boost happiness in the workplace.

The research follows a recent poll which suggests that some 49 per cent of sick days are taken due to stress, anxiety or depression.

The Commission has called on employers to look at some of the issues which may be harming workplace wellbeing, such as bullying and sexual harassment.

Ruth Coombes, head of the EHRC in Wales, said: “It will probably cost you more not to address the issue than it will to leave it and let it ride… it’s about managers [and] business owners talking with their employees and realising that just like any other illness having a mental health problem doesn’t mean that you can’t work and you can’t get back to work.”

A separate study earlier this year supported the Commission’s findings. It found that middle-aged adults who feel stressed, powerless or overworked are more likely to develop mental health problems, compared to happy workers in similar roles.

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