Pledge your commitment to tackling mental health in the workplace

Posted by Matthew Scrimshire on 01/11/17 11:33

Up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year, according to a new Government report. 

The most important recommendation in the “Thriving at Work” report is that all employers, regardless of size or industry, should adopt specific mental health standards. 

And you can immediately demonstrate your commitment to change how we think and act about mental health in the workplace by signing the Employer Pledge here.

By signing the pledge you will join a growing movement of more than 500 employers in England across all sectors. 

As one in three fit notes now relate to mental health issues, according to an NHS report, there is a growing challenge to be faced. The strides forward in the last 12 to 18 months to bring the discussion around mental health to the mainstream have been refreshing and much needed. But what does this mean for business? 

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) providers have used this as a clarion call for the value of their services, and rightly so. However, the utilisation of EAP can be low. 

To further increase uptake, you need to ensure that people with mental health problems are reminded of the EAP details at the point they report absence, as happens when the FirstCare service is used. 

Not to do so misses a crucial moment and waiting until they return to work could be too late to offer counselling. 

If your staff are using the EAP services, how is the data used? Do you get data? 

Mental health is an increasingly complex and emotive subject, and there are many generic articles offering a one-size-fits-all solution. Understanding where and how you can support YOUR staff is key to tackling the challenges. 

So, if an EAP is only part of the solution, what else can be done? 

The accuracy of data captured by FirstCare allows you to easily identify where you might need to add weight to existing provisions to make a greater impact. 

Further to that, we’ve analysed calls related to mental health and a significant number of people have declined to take advantage of an existing EAP … despite some calls exceeding 40 minutes. 

Those people clearly wanted to talk but, for whatever reason, wouldn’t commit to more structured counselling. The issues here for line managers include: 

  • Time restraints.
  • Discomfort with the conversations.
  • Little chance to prepare. 

Active “Mental Health First Aid” has seen real growth since it was introduced to the UK a decade ago. People may be affected anywhere and anytime so we all need to support wherever we can. 

If you knew you had someone you could go to, when you needed support at work, wouldn’t that help? 

As said above, you can begin to further support your colleagues by signing the Employer Pledge. 

Also, our FirstCare service has a “no call cap” policy. If someone needs to talk, we’ll stay on a call with them as long as required. 

We also ensure 100% of absences are triaged by a nurse, so that people who are unable to attend work get support, primary care advice and signposting to existing support services provided by their employer. 

Learn more about the absence management services we offer.

Topics: Mental health