Working Minds was launched by HSE last year and is aimed specifically at supporting small businesses by providing employers and workers with easy to implement advice and tools to help them recognise and respond to the signs and causes of stress and support better mental health in the workplace.
Stress, anxiety and depression are the number one reasons for work-related illness in the UK. Statistics published by HSE, covering the 2020/21 period, show that, of the 1.7 million workers suffering from a work-related illness, almost half (822,000) was due to stress, depression or anxiety. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, the law requires all employers to carry out a stress risk assessment and act upon the findings to prevent work related stress and support good mental health in the workplace. Together with partners such as ISMAUK, HSE invites business and organisations across the nation to support its campaign and become Working Minds Champions to help raise awareness and drive change.
Elizabeth Goodwill from Stress and Mental Health Policy at HSE, said, “We’re calling for a culture change across Britain’s workplaces so that recognising and responding to signs of stress become as routine as managing workplace safety and we can’t do it alone. We’re delighted to be working with ISMAUK to help prevent stress and support good mental health. Working Minds helps employers to follow 5 simple steps based on risk assessment. They are to Reach out and have conversations, Recognise the signs and causes of stress, Respond to any risks you’ve identified, Reflect on actions you’ve agreed and taken, and make it Routine. It needs to become the norm to talk about stress and how people are feeling and coping at work.”
Carole Spiers, Chair of ISMAUK, said, “We are very pleased to partner with the HSE on their Working Minds campaign. This resonates strongly with ISMAUK as the lead professional body for workplace and personal stress management, wellbeing and performance. The pandemic unleashed unprecedented change, bringing increased stress levels and consequent mental health issues with it. Employee wellbeing and mental health support are just as important as profit and productivity – because each is entirely dependent upon the other.”
A report by Deloitte estimates that the total annual cost of poor mental health to employers has increased by 25% since 2019, costing UK employers up to £56 billion a year.
Carole Spiers continued, “With remote and hybrid working on the increase, businesses are being judged more than ever on how they treat their employees and on what specific support they are making available to them. It is essential, therefore, that we understand the importance of wellbeing in the workplace – whether that be at the office, either full-time or on a hybrid basis, or working remotely. Effective, unrestricted communication at all levels is crucial to achieve optimum working and productivity, reinforcing an atmosphere in which there is job security and trust, both of which are essential for employee wellbeing at every level within an organisation.”
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