The Prime Minister today announced a raft of measures in a bid to “transform” attitudes to mental health at a speech delivered to the Charity Commission. May has made a number of pledges in a bid to improve mental health support at schools and in the workplace.
In terms of the workplace, she emphasised that mental wellbeing improves motivation, reduces absence and drives better productivity. She has pledged to appoint mental health campaigner Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, to carry out a review on improving support in the workplace and create a partnership with leading employers and industry.
In response to the Prime Minister’s speech, Simplyhealth’s Managing Director, Corporate & Consumer, Mark Hamson said: “We welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to improving the provision of mental healthcare. With one-in-four people reportedly experiencing a mental health problem every year, it is clear that consistent, direct action needs to be taken to close the gap between the support offered for physical and mental health illnesses.
We are particularly pleased that the Government is focussing on mental health support in the workplace and employee well-being. Our own research and work with the CIPD* has confirmed the important role employers play in ensuring the physical and mental well-being of their employees and, crucially, how timely, effective interventions can have a positive impact on employee attendance and engagement.
Given that we are working longer, it is crucial that employers are equipped with the tools they need to not only recognise when employees need assistance, but to be able to provide effective, continuing mental health support. This is a long-term problem that needs a long-term solution, and one which promotes open discussion and makes employees feel able to speak candidly about their mental health. We hope that the Prime Minister’s announcement marks the Government’s sustained commitment to destigmatising mental health and starting an open and inclusive conversation about the importance of effective mental health support in the workplace.”
*2016 CIPD/Simplyhealth Absence Management Survey – http://newsroom.simplyhealth.co.uk/line-managers-underprepared-by-employers-to-manage-absence/