Reducing the stigma of mental health
One of many steps we must all take to reduce the stigma of mental health is to recognise that these problems can affect anybody and everybody. It is widely recognised that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. What is less well known is that mental health problems cost UK employers £30 billion each year through costs associated with a loss of production, recruitment and absence.
Figures around staff absences can be misleading. At a first glance it would appear that average absence levels in the UK are falling. According to the CIPD Absence Management Survey 2016, an employee was absent from work an average of 6.3 days per year, down from an average of 6.9 days per employee per year in 2015. This seemingly positive decline conceals the fact that mental health problems are a major cause for staff absence across the UK.
The CIPD survey also revealed that 31% of organisations have reported a rise in absences due to mental health problems in 2016. This alarming figure confirms that mental health issues are the most common cause of long-term absences and the second most common cause of short-term absences. Legal & General’s own figures support this fact, confirming that mental health has consistently remained the top reason for Group Income Protection claims since 1999.