Debbie Lovewell-Tuck: Addressing the need for mental wellbeing support

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck

As our Mental Wellbeing Week, in association with Benenden, draws to a close, it is time to reflect on some of the trends and issues currently shaping this area of benefits.

This dedicated week was designed to bring you exclusive insights and opinions uncovering best practice on employers’ approaches to supporting mental wellbeing in the workplace.

Historically, mental health and wellbeing has been perceived to be a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace. The perceived stigma was such that many individuals did not feel able to open up and be honest about mental ill-health conditions due to fears that they would be judged and their career adversely affected as a result.

In recent years, some organisations have increasingly recognised the importance of supporting employees’ mental wellbeing. This, combined with a number of public figures speaking out about their own experience of mental ill-health, has gone some way to reducing the stigma surrounding this, albeit relatively slowly. Unless individuals are prepared to be open about their mental health and any conditions they may be experiencing, however, identifying those that may be in need of, or would benefit from, support can be nigh on impossible for employers.

And it appears there is a need for this support. According to research published by Aon in January 2018, more than two-thirds (68%) of employers surveyed have seen an increase in instances of stress and mental health-related issues in the workplace. This is further compounded by January 2018 research by Bupa, which found that just under a third (29%) of employees go in to work when suffering with stress, anxiety or depression.

With numerous studies reporting similar findings, there is a compelling argument for employers to provide mental wellbeing support for their employees. The Mental health in the workplace report, published by Benenden in November 2017, for example, found that just under half (46%) of employees would seek alternative employment if their employer did not provide support around mental health issues.

Yet, even if employers recognise the need to provide some form of mental health support in the workplace, starting these conversations is not an easy task.

So wherever you are with supporting employees’ mental wellbeing in your organisation, Mental Wellbeing Week was designed to help you take this to the next level through exclusive insights and opinions uncovering best practice in this area. These included:

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
Tweet: @DebbieLovewell