The Entrepreneurs’ Forum is urging North East business to show greater awareness of mental wellbeing within the workplace.
Latest Government figures reveal that one in six employees in the UK report has a mental health condition while statistics published by Business in the Community show three in five people experience work-related mental health issues.
Jonathan Lamb, Chief Executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, said that while many businesses are increasingly aware of mental health issues in the workplace, more can be done to break through the barriers surrounding what is often termed the ‘invisible disease’.
He said: “It is about developing a mental health mindset – directing people to the support that is available and creating an atmosphere where employees feel they able to discuss issues openly.
“The world of work is fast-paced and ever changing and both businesses and employees can benefit by putting mental health first.
“Investment in training in mental health best practice raises awareness and in turn eradicates the discrimination which prevents people seeking support in the first place.”
According to Government statistics mental health issues in the workplace costs UK employers £42 billion a year whilst it costs £8 billion a year to replace staff who leave their jobs because of their mental health.
Wellbeing specialist Bethany Ainsley, founder of OptiMe and a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, said businesses must adopt a more preventative approach to deal with such issues before they reach a critical stage.
She said: “It is about looking at how we give employees a tool kit to effectively manage wellbeing not only for mental but the physical health too, as people live longer and remain in the workplace longer.”
“Managing wellbeing in the workplace effectively, like any other process, allows employees to perform at their best, both at work and at home.”