Recognising why it matters is the first step.
We have for a long time neglected our mental health because we feel it is not important enough but Mental Health and Wellness is essential to our overall health. It is as important, if not more, than physical health.
Mental illness is a condition which negatively disrupts a persons thinking, emotions and behaviour and can affect the persons ability to carry out daily activities.
The absolute reality of mental illness is that 1 in 4 people will suffer from mental ill health every year. It can be a temporary or a permanent state of mind that exists on a continuum, affecting people in different ways, at different times in their lives and for different reasons.
It can affect our energy, how we feel about ourselves and others, our ability to get up in the morning and how we interact with people. It can create dark and suicidal thoughts, it can be self-neglecting, it can force us to behave so differently that people no longer recognise who we are. It can affect our ability to go to work, to have any productivity if we do make it there, to lose friends, to be alone and so much more.
Suffering can affect your ability to do anything. Your mental health matters and ignoring it can no longer be an option. It is important that we all become more aware of our mental health, but also other peoples mental health when it does fluctuate and organisations have a responsibility to tackle the significant mental health challenges at work.
Over 300,000 people find themselves out of work every year due to long term mental illnesses – which is significantly higher than those who have physical conditions. It costs companies £42 billion every year through presenteeism (low productivity), absenteeism and staff turnover. Yet despite this, recent studies suggest that only 10% of UK companies are actively investing in strategies or programmes which reduce work related mental illnesses, support staff who are experiencing mental health issues, or promote the wellbeing of all staff.
Every organisation wants to create an environment where their employees thrive as it ensures a company’s success. They want employees to promote their company positively, and employees want the right support, a culture that sits comfortably with them, good career prospects etc. But employees also want a positive environment. 60% of employees say they would feel more motivated and more likely to recommend their organisation if their employers took action to support mental wellbeing.
The right employers know that organisations perform better when staff are healthy, focused, energised, motivated and engaged. Where organisations are investing in staff’s mental health and wellbeing, the benefits reach far beyond engaged employees: