To mark World Mental Health Day 2019 NEBOSH has announced plans to work with Mental Health UK. The memorandum of understanding, which was signed at a reception at the House of Lords last month, will see NEBOSH and the charity explore ways that the two organisations can work together to help address mental health within the workplace.
Every year, 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem. 11.5% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions. Indeed, according to the government-commissioned Thriving at Work report, 15% of people at work have symptoms of a mental health condition and poor mental health costs UK employers between £33billion and £42 billion in terms of absence, staff turnover and under-performance. Furthermore, people with a long-term mental health condition are twice as likely to lose their jobs as those without one. 300,000 people with a long term mental health problem lose their jobs each year.
NEBOSH Chief Executive, Ian Taylor, said: “The figures are extremely sobering. We must not forget that there is a human cost behind these numbers. Every day there are people struggling to work while coping with mental health issues, and employers unsure of how to help.
“As an organisation that works closely with employers to protect employee wellbeing, it made sense for us to develop a better understanding of this issue and to see what part we can play to help improve it. That’s why we are thrilled to be working with Mental Health UK.”
Mental Health UK brings together four national mental health charities with a combined experience of over 40 years. Through projects, grants and outreach, it works to improve understanding of mental health problems and provide care and support to those affected.
“people with a long-term mental health condition are twice as likely to lose their jobs”
Brian Dow, CEO of Mental Health UK said: “We don’t just work with people who have mental health problems, we provide support to all of those who are affected – their friends, families and carers. Employers and work colleagues are clearly an important part of that support network. They are often the people that someone with mental health problems most frequently interacts with – and work may be the very place where issues and problems are exacerbated or come to the fore.
“It’s brilliant to have this opportunity to work with NEBOSH, an organisation that is so committed to improving employee wellbeing, to explore what more can be done to better support the conversation about mental health in the workplace.” For more information visit www.nebosh.org.uk