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Mental Health in the Workplace: What is Mental Health?

Feb 04, 2019
by Ezra Moffatt, Consultant
0333 400 7920 | ezra@employassisthr.co.uk

​Several reports show that approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. 

Therefore, it is very likely that all employers will have individuals working for and with them who are suffering from poor mental health and it is important that employers understand what exactly this means. 

As described by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), mental health is about how we think, feel and behave. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems and whilst they are often a reaction to a difficult life event they can also be caused by work-related issues. 

Work can also aggravate pre-existing conditions, and problems at work can bring on the symptoms of mental health or make their effects worse.

Mental health conditions can range from relatively common disorders such as depression and anxiety to the more rare bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. 

Most people's mental health will rise and fall depending on pressures and/or experiences in their life. A person may therefore feel in good mental health generally but also experience stress or anxiety from time to time.

A recent study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that, for the first time, stress is the major cause of long-term absence in manual and non-manual workers.

Whether work is causing the health issue or aggravating it, employers have a legal responsibility to help their employees. 

In ​tomorrow's blog we will explain what impact not having the right support in place can have on your business.