Mental health has always been an important topic that needs to be discussed, however, these discussions rarely take place at work.
Recent times have seen a rise in encouraging open discussions about mental health in the workplace and it is definitely becoming a subject that is becoming easier to talk about in a working environment.
Due to coronavirus, many have reported a huge increase in worries and anxiety - employees fear going back to work in case a loved one falls ill.
This is reinforced by CIPD research, with findings shown that 43% of employees say their general mental health has worsened since the coronavirus outbreak. 52% of employees report an increase to their existing mental health issue.
Leading organisations are planning to combat anxieties and are pledging to prioritise the mental health of their employees as they return to work.
Companies such as Unilever, Barclays and Santander have signed an open letter to The Times to confirm their commitment.
From an employers perspective, 88% of employers have shown concern about the pandemic's impact on their employees' mental health.
The open letter encourages and advises that employers can start prioritising mental health by:
- Signing up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment as well as adopting the six standards.
- Consistently reviewing the mental health support in which employees have access to by making sure it is able to provide support over the impact of coronavirus.
- Visiting www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk to access quality assured information, resources and toolkits.
It is an incredibly positive step in the right direction for businesses to tackle mental health woes at work, especially after the coronavirus pandemic.
From an employer perspective, we found that 88 per cent of employers are concerned about the impact of the pandemic on employee mental health. And when asked for more detail about mental health issues, ‘fear and anxiety about themselves or a loved one becoming ill’ was by far the most common concern reported by employees within the surveyed organisations. The open-letter emphasises that “there has never been a more important time to build back better when it comes to supporting employee mental health and wellbeing. As a group of leading employers and industry bodies in Britain, we are committed to doing this”.