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Mental Health in Britain

The government released a report today - The Stevenson/Farmer Report – Thriving at Work – a review of Mental Health and Employers At the beginning of the year the Prime Minister asked for an independent review into how employers could better support the mental health of all people including those with mental health problems and “poor Well-being” to remain in and thrive through work. The nine month investigation has provided some startling results. Mental health challenges at work proved to be far larger than originally thought. The result is far greater human cost but greater impacts on society, the economy and government. The cost to industry in sick pay and reduced productivity and less effective working runs into billions of pounds. The underlying stigma that surrounds mental health prevents more open discussions in the work place resulting in less people asking for help and continuing to suffer in silence. 300,000 with long term mental health conditions lose their job every year. Analysis shows that around 15% of the working population have symptoms of an existing mental health conditions. The human cost is huge – mental illness impacts not only the individual but those around them, their family, friends and work colleagues. The estimated cost to employers is £33 billion to £42 billion a year. This includes staff turnover and on-costs, training requirements, managing performance, missed targets, absenteeism and staff cover. The Government response to the report is to develop Mental Health Core Standards, which will include awareness of mental health programmes for employers and employees, promotion of good working conditions and a healthy work life balance. At long last the Government is also suggesting provision of tailored in-house wellbeing and mental health support and is considering legislative change to promote all of the above. As a long term provider of on-site stress busting services, I’m both pleased to see this report and deeply disturbed that in the 21st century we still haven’t got to grips with the depth and breadth of mental illness, it’s causes and potential help that doesn’t cost the earth. On a daily basis I treat people suffering with stress and anxiety that is impacting either their work or home life or both. Stress reducing massages that can help deal with the physical effects or mindfulness practices such as Tai Chi or Meditation Classes all have a huge role to play in keeping people happier and healthier. I am proud to be an ambassador for the Health and Wellbeing industry. For the full report please see: 

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