Did you know that 1 in 6 workers in the UK will experience a mental health condition at any one time? With an estimated 62,000 employees away from work each day because of mental health related conditions. These staggering statistics are supported by the fact that for many businesses mental ill-health is fast becoming the number one reason for employee absence and presenteeism, with a significant and consistent rise in its prevalence over the last 5 years.
Regardless of the size of organisation, mental ill–health has the potential to disrupt your business. The costs of mental health issues at work are significant, both for organisations and individuals. Affected employees may take sick leave or, if they remain at work, find their performance adversely affected by fatigue, poor concentration and memory problems, commonly referred to as presenteeism. Even those employers offering counselling support via an Employee Assistance Programmes are not immune. Many employees in most need of help simply do not present themselves for treatment and their condition remains unsupported.
For many organisations, the key to reducing absence and presenteeism due to mental health issues is ensuring managers are engaging with their staff regularly, building wellbeing into supervision structures: helping them to identify much earlier when people are struggling and making it more likely that early interventions can be made – an approach which is proven to improve outcomes for the individual by preventing issues escalating. By talking more openly about mental health also nurtures a culture in which employees feel comfortable to disclose issues as they arise without fear of stigma or discrimination.
Once the need for support has been identified, knowing who to call upon can also prove difficult, navigating the range of options available adds to the challenges facing employers. Effectively ensuring employees in most need of support are able to access it remains the ultimate goal. – It is here where services which provide access via a management referral approach are proven to be a more effective solution at engaging employees.
The management referral approach provides employers a range of benefits including protection for their organisation from the issue of “Reasonable Foreseeability” which can often prove difficult to defend if a management referral approach hasn’t been used in providing support for employees.
Rightsteps developed its Wellbeing service, which is built upon our experience in delivering mental health services. To provide employers access to telephone based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), available on as pay as you refer / non-contracted arrangement with no minimum usage clauses or retaining fees to pay. The approach is simple – Employers sign up to the service and are able to access specialist support on an as required basis when they need it. This innovative approach to support means there’s no wasted investment by employers in services which aren’t accessed.
Providing rapid access to specialist provision which supports employees to reduce, and potentially eliminate, the chances of absenteeism due to mental health issues is vital, and proven to be the most effective approach. Rightsteps own programme focuses on assisting employees referred into the programme to make significant long-term change, whilst improving business productivity and employee health. From the point of initial referral and throughout the programme, a Rightsteps Practitioners is on hand to support both employers and employees.
Early intervention by Managers to support employees experiencing mental health issues is proven to minimise the effects of these conditions in the workplace.The benefits that Rightsteps offers to both employees and employers is invaluable, helping to maintain attendance within the working environment where previously non attendance would have been the most likely result, and for those employees that are away from work it supports their return to work, avoiding extended periods of absence due to their condition. Our own research has shown for each £1 spent on the Rightsteps Wellbeing service, £6.47 is saved in occupational sick pay for the referring company /organisation.
Rightsteps Wellbeing provides businesses across the UK support for employees struggling with the effects of mental ill-health. Further information can be obtained by visiting www.Rightsteps.co.uk or contacting the service on 0300 123 1530.