Over half of employees feel they would take less time off work if employers looked after their mental wellbeing
An online survey by Health Shield has found that 57% of employees would be more loyal to their employers if they better supported their mental health.
The poll carried out via social media found that 90% of employees struggling with mental health issues were held back from thriving at work and performing to the best of their ability, while half said that they would benefit from access to face-to-face counselling where necessary.
According to Mental Health Toolkit for Employers (Business in the Community), mental health issues at work cost UK employers £42bn a year though absence and replacing people who leave jobs due to mental illness. Three in 10 (31%) of the UK workforce have been formally diagnosed with a mental health issue, yet just over one in 10 (13%) feel able to disclose a mental health issue to line managers.
"The poll results clearly show that a focus on mental health can have a positive impact on employee loyalty with the right support in place for employers to help them provide integrated mental health services.
"Employers are recognising the need to improve mental health, but anecdotal evidence suggests that few have yet implemented the requisite support," said Jennie Doyle, head of product and marketing at Health Shield. "The thing is it needn't be a costly or time-consuming exercise. Mental health issues can be driven by physical issues as well as psychological problems, and vice versa. It's likely that many companies already have many of the benefits and services in place to help tackle such issues but the problem is there's no integrated approach between them."
Health Shield recently launched Thrive, a NHS-approved mental health app, as part of its tailored health cash plan to help companies initiate treatment pathways.
Thrive, available through an employee assistance programme (EAP), helps employees identify, prevent and self-manage common mental health conditions with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness. It also encourages users to take part in activities that build resilience to stress, anxiety and depression. It can also provide employers with a quarterly analysis where there are more than 50 users at the same company on the app.
Employees who have used the app have made comments such as "I love how intelligent this app is!", "It's no coincidence that since I have started using the app I have been calmer, able to deal with stressful situations better and sleeping better," and "Within just a few days it had set me up with activities related to ‘coping with health problems' and it gave me daily exercises and tasks to specifically combat the negative thoughts surrounding my health concerns."
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