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Corporate apathy about mental health remains 

Rebekah Tapping

Mental health is an issue that is gripping our nation and despite its widespread notoriety, it seems employers aren’t doing enough to support their staff. Contributor Rebekah Tapping, Group HR Director – Personal Group.

This corporate apathy felt by employees arrives at a time when awareness of mental health issues in the UK is on the rise. 80 percent of respondents said they had noticed an overall increase in awareness of mental health generally in the UK, however a staggering 62 percent said they noticed no change in the levels of awareness in the workplace.

Data from Personal Group, has shown that 39 percent of employees state that their workplace does not offer any kind of mental health support, which shows a total disregard by employers to this rising epidemic.  

However, Time to Talk day 7th creates a brilliant opportunity to think about initiatives that can help create conversations and remove the stigma that surrounds the issue. 

By implementing a simple Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), which offers confidential support, staff can feel supported when they need it most. Employees are able to access the platform and discuss a range of issues with a professional counsellor to help alleviate their troubles. Last year, further data from Personal Group, which includes the provision of an EAP platform showed a 300 percent increase year on year (Q1 & Q2 2017 versus Q1 & Q2 in 2018) for staff trying to access employee wellbeing resources via its app and platform, called Hapi. 

The data also shows that mental health issues have overtaken all other areas of traditional concern for employees, including: work stress, relationships, and general health issues. This increase outpaces that of all other advice calls, with mental health support calls in the same period rising from 23 percent of all calls in 2017 to 36 percent of all calls in 2018. 

Discussing rising mental health issues Rebekah Tapping, Group HR Director at Personal Group said: “It is surprising, not to mention a real shame, that such a large number of employees still feel there isn’t enough mental health support available in the workplace, especially surprising as the topic has significantly increased in awareness in recent years. 

It is more important than ever that business leaders and decision makers break the culture of stigma and silence around mental health and start making it a management priority and ensuring that a range of support is available for those who need it.”

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