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NICE guide to mental wellbeing at work

NICE guide to mental wellbeing at work

NICE guide to mental wellbeing at work

The guidance aims to help
reduce the estimated 13.7 million working days lost each year due to
work-related mental health conditions including stress, depression and anxiety
which are currently estimated to cost UK employers around £28.3 billion per
year at current pay levels.

Work has an important role
in promoting mental wellbeing. It can not only help develop an individual’s
self-esteem and sense of identity but also helps to provide a sense of
fulfilment and opportunities for social interaction. However when the pressure
of work exceeds an employee’s ability to cope it can have negative effects on
the employee’s mental health, particularly in the form of stress.

The NICE guidance highlights
how employers and employees can work in partnership to improve mental wellbeing
within the workplace, by taking a positive organisation-wide approach that
promotes mental wellbeing through changes in ways of working, such as improved
line management and the provision of flexible working where appropriate. These
recommendations will not only benefit employees but will also help employers to
reduce sickness absence and staff turnover leading to increased productivity
and performance.

Professor Mike Kelly, Public
Health Excellence Centre Director, NICE said “The benefits of promoting mental
wellbeing within the workplace are clear. Today’s guidance explains how
employers can make simple changes which will improve the management of mental
health in the workplace, including the prevention and early identification of
problems. The financial incentives for employers adopting these approaches are
significant however measures such as the performing of annual audits of
employee wellbeing are not common practice. By following these recommendations
an average organisation of 1000 employees can expect to save an estimated £250
000 a year, due to reduced absenteeism and increased performance.

The guidance therefore
represents a win-win for employers and their employees and should be seen as
important advice to help organisations irrespective of their size or sector.”

6 November 2009


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