Depression could be costing your business more than you think
Today is World Mental Health Day and with the theme of ‘Mental Health in the Workplace,’ Northern Irelands national depression charity has said that the rates of depression in Northern Ireland are the highest in the UK - with the overall prevalence of mental illness an estimated 25% higher than in England. This is costing over £3.5 billion per year which is equivalent to about 12 percent of the country’s total income.
The long-term risk to business is huge, although AWARE believe that businesses can manage this through the introduction of mental health awareness programmes and an open and positive attitude to mental health in the workplace.
Michelle Byrne from AWARE said,
“Mental illness is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK and is estimated to account for approximately 70 million sick days annually. Research indicates that being in employment actually has a positive effect on mental wellbeing as it can give a sense of purpose and self-worth as well as providing an opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people whilst providing a degree of financial security.
“Mental illnesses such as depression are on the increase and therefore it is important that as a society, these are addressed and that people that are suffering are well supported. For those that remain in employment, it is crucial that they feel supported enough to ensure they remain in the workplace.
“There are a number of ways an employer can help support employees in the workplace and promote strong leadership around mental health. AWARE offer a number of programmes including Mood Matters in the Workplace, Mindfulness and Mental Health First Aid. All of these programmes can be delivered to employees to educate them about the importance of looking after their mental health and promote help seeking behaviour if they find themselves in a mental health crisis.”