Mental health issues in the workplace

Mental health issues in the workplace is costing companies millions, as well as the NHS. After working for an establishment where a large percentage of staff were often on longterm sick leave, up to 6 months on full pay.

Many of these were signed off sick due to STRESS in the workplace and due to unacceptable work loads along with the threat of redundancies.

The work load would be distributed among other employees who in turn were unable to cope with the added pressures, resulting in more time taken off sick and heeding the important role of educating young adults.

A viscous circle.

Employment Law states “Employers should make changes to an employee’s working conditions if they become disabled because of their sickness”.

These changes are known as ‘reasonable adjustments’ and could include working shorter hours or adapting equipment employees use at work. Disabled is when we are dis-abled or un-able to achieve our full potential so includes physical and mental wellbeing.

I have heard complaints of people being aware that they have caused others to increase their work load and managers not putting processes in place to integrate a smooth journey back into their employment role.

Stress in the workplace contributes to companies making large financial losses in sick pay.

Smaller companies are unable to substantiate these losses and may lead to cut backs and job losses or worse a company closing.In this economic climate, overall, there are some very shortsighted company CEOs that are costing their businesses undue losses.

Human Limitations

Could it be more effective to recognise human limitations? Using encouragement and understanding to motivate staff and build productive and trusting relationships?

We are all unique individuals, there would be different reasons for being unable to fulfil tasks. E.g. there could be family concerns, marital issues or financial concerns, these can all lead to us being less productive at work.

A manager and maybe colleagues may make remarks that could be construed as bullying.

This is where external forces can lead to a troubled employee bringing outside circumstances into work. It is all very well asking individuals to leave these issues at the front door, unfortunately we have to take the brain, body and emotions everwhere with us.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could take off that emotion or worry about my child, bills or the argument with partner last night, and leave at the front door as we go out.

Approximately 5 million people of working age receive out-of-work benefits – about half of this group receive incapacity benefits (The work programme).

Health-related benefits cost the state £13 billion a year (Health at work – an independent review of sickness absence). (Also see NICE’s business case tool for the management of long-term sickness and incapacity.)

Training CEO’s and management in recognising a staff member may be struggling to be fully present in the workplace, and different ways of managing individuals.

This may also include placing an action plan in place to support both the company and staff member in remaining in work and remaining a productive staff member.

A little recognition goes a long way. It is a basic part of the human needs, that we all require to be a part of something and to be acknowledged for the role played in the team or project etc.

By recognising not just in the workforce but also in our society the Mental health issues that are causing people to find it either difficult to be in paid work or having a poor attendance in the workplace.


Heres the thing, all you bosses/employers out there we are HUMAN and tend to carry this shit around with us. A little compassion can  go a long way to letting someone know that they are valued.

Are you having staffing problems? Healthy, happy employees are more productive…. we can show you how…. ask us for more information

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