Stephen Hickey: What is the role of employers in removing the stigma around mental health?

Mental health is a real issue in today’s world. According to World Health Organisation estimates, 300 million people suffer from depression.

It goes without question that employers play a role in not just removing the stigma around mental health, but make conscious steps in tackling it, head on.

For employers, it starts with acknowledgement of the risks. Based on the World Health Organisation estimates, there is not only a clear business interest, but a business responsibility to take steps in reducing the risks of mental health issues, across the board.

Secondly, employers must educate. While many people are touched by mental health issues, the problem of communicating the facts still remains. With the resources available in today’s world, employers may use presentations, guest speakers or simple stories to help their staff understand, identify, and deal with this difficult topic.

And finally, employers must do their best to prevent any mental health issues. At The Taxback Group, our great team has taken proactive steps in issue prevention by forming a brand new employee wellbeing programme, GroupLife.

GroupLife seeks to promote and encourage health and wellbeing in the workplace, under the headings of mind, body, and work-life balance. Because these are all linked to overall employee wellness, our programme seeks to create a positive, welcoming, and open atmosphere where staff can feel motivated and valued.

Information sessions, group activities, healthy food mornings, et cetera, have become the norm here at The Taxback Group, and the response has been phenomenal. We would encourage all employers to follow in our footsteps, and to see for themselves, how their role in promoting mental health can have such positive effects on their business.

Stephen Hickey is HR director at The Taxback Group