The importance of early intervention when it comes to employees’ mental wellbeing
With the 14th-20th of May being Mental Health Awareness Week, we would like to highlight the importance of early intervention and reasons why employers should prioritise their employees mental wellbeing.
A recent study conducted by Westfield Health, which surveyed over 2025 employees revealed that a staggering 86% of UK employees do not feel that their respective employers are doing enough to support them with mental wellbeing issues such as work related stress, anxiety and other mental health issues.
Deloitte found that presenteeism has a significant impact and is detrimental to the UK economy to the tune of £16.8bn – £26.4bn per year. Presenteeism is where employees are at work in body but unable to work to their full capacity.
Britain’s productivity is still behind the other G7 nations based on the statistics from the 2015 study which showed a 16% gap. This is a crucial time to for employers to ask the question, how could early intervention strategies, better employee mental health and wellbeing to help UK businesses close this productivity gap?
There are many elements that contribute to sound mental wellbeing. Sleep, nutrition, physical fitness, meaningful personal relationships, workplace culture and socio-economic status are all vital determinants to overall happiness and wellbeing, which can lead to increased productivity, if successful strategies are in place.
There is a pressing requirement to cull the rapid rise in mental health related absenteeism and lack of productivity thereof. Workplaces can offer the ideal opportunity to create a preventative approach to wellbeing and health, as more adults spend their waking hours at work. Employers need to pay extra attention to the mental health of their workers and be proactive in solving any threats to their workplace wellbeing.
These strategies should be more wholesome and proactive than simple measures such as just providing discounted memberships and free fruit in the office. Employers need to create a workplace culture where their people’s wellbeing is prioritised to drive prosperity, happiness and productivity.
Early intervention when it comes to an employee’s mental wellbeing and a proactive approach to help employees lead a heathy lifestyle will not only benefit the employee, but also the business they work for and their families. This strategy could also relieve the pressure on the NHS who are under great stress due to the economic pressures they face on a daily basis.
Research shows that workplaces that invest in early intervention and in-depth mental wellbeing practices, such as supporting or training workers to improve skills for their job role, training to cope with stress, counselling or therapy sessions delivered during work hours, had a positive impact on mental wellbeing in the short term.
While initiatives and campaigns such as Mental Health Awareness Week bring prevalent mental health and wellbeing issues to light, it’s clear that improvements still need to be made to build and sustain long term strategies to create sound workplace processes and cultures to optimise employee mental wellbeing whilst attain required business outcomes.