Reward research: key report highlights for World Mental Health Day

Today (10 October) is World Mental Health Day, the World Health Organisation’s annual awareness initiative to boost efforts in support of mental health. Coinciding with this event was the launch of Business in the Community’s (BITC’s) latest research findings into mental health in the workplace.

Reward Director Masterclass: key reports to highlight World Mental Health Day

The scale of the problem

Now in its third year, BITC’s Mental Health at Work report highlights that employers are making huge strides in raising awareness and taking action to tackle mental ill-health. However, it warns that the prevalence and impact of mental health issues is severe, and employers need to do more to increase the quality and breadth of the support they’re offering.

The study finds that 61 per cent of employees have experienced mental health issues due to work or where work was a related factor, while one in three of the UK workforce have been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime. These figures highlight the scale of the problem and the need for employers to do more.

Employers’ top priority

The challenge of tackling mental ill-health was highlighted in Aon’s EMEA Health Survey, with 65 per cent of respondents citing stress and mental health issues as their top health and wellness challenge. Aon argues that the perceived difficultly in addressing this area within a health and wellbeing programme is part of the issue.

The survey also found that UK businesses are more likely to have physical (77 per cent currently have these) and social (70 per cent) programmes than emotional/psychological (58 per cent) or financial (39 per cent) ones, although all of these are more prevelant than they were two years ago. This is despite 94 per cent of respondents agreeing that employers are responsible for influencing employee health and changing behaviours.

Offering solutions to workplace mental health

Legal & General’s Red Report – Mental Health In The Workplace: Challenges And Solutions paper offers guidance to employers looking to be more open about mental health in the workplace. It considers five key themes that act as barriers to creating a supportive mental health environment and offers solutions to these issues.

These are just a handful of the studies featured in REBA’s reports section that touch on workplace mental health. From these three reports alone it is clear that mental ill-health is a workplace issue that is not only growing, but needs to be tackled head on.

The REBA Reports Library has hundreds of reports, surveys and other handy documents pulled together from a myriad government departments, academics, independent organisations and suppliers. We have pulled them together for our members to use to find the data they need to support business cases, presentations and other reward work.

Dawn Lewis is content editor at the Reward & Employee Benefits Association.

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