Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England comment on the Mental Health at Work Report 2017 ahead of World Mental Health Day
The charity Business in the Community, in partnership with MHFA England, Mind and others, will be releasing its second Mental Health at Work Report 2017 on 4 October 2017.
Based on a YouGov survey of 3,006 full and part time employees, the report is a comprehensive assessment of attitudes towards workplace mental health in the UK.
The findings reveal that as many as 1.2 million of the UK’s working population has faced demotion, disciplinary or dismissal after disclosing a mental health issue at work.
Although 53% of people feel comfortable talking about mental health at work, a significant percentage of employees risk serious repercussions for disclosing a mental health issue. 15% of employees face dismissal, disciplinary action or demotion after disclosing a mental health issue at work (an increase compared to 9% identified in similar research undertaken in 2016).
Commenting on the Mental Health at Work Report 2017, Poppy Jaman, CEO, Mental Health First Aid England says:
“It’s encouraging to see that attitudes towards mental health in the workplace are shifting, however this report demonstrates that employers are still failing to translate increased awareness into action. Worryingly, over a million people who disclosed a mental health issue to their employer have faced negative consequences or even dismissal.
With World Mental Health Day on 10 October, the time to act is now. We will only see a culture change across our workplaces when employers value mental health as they do physical health, which is why we want to see every employer who trains staff in physical first aid to also offer Mental Health First Aid.
While only 11 per cent of people feel able to disclose a mental health issue to their line manager, it’s clear there’s more work to do. Awareness, talking about mental health openly, is a great first step in creating a mentally healthy organisation. But to better support employees, transform practices and truly embed a whole organisational approach to workplace wellbeing, employers need to offer mental health training.”
One of the three critical recommendations in the report is that employers invest in mental health first aid training for line managers.
For employers looking to take a proactive step towards creating a mentally healthy organisation, MHFA England is launching a Workplace Wellbeing toolkit which can be downloaded here: https://mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/campaigns/wmhd17/. Or to book Mental Health First Aid training for your workplace, visit: mhfaengland.org/organisations.