The United Kingdom is facing an economy downfall because of the job losses that come from employees having a mental illness. One in six people suffer from a mental illness. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 12.1% of the domestic gross population have a mental illness. Mental illness is still considered a taboo subject in the UK which is preventing those with mental health issues to get the support they need. Luckily, Prime Minister Theresa May and Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of the charity “Mind”, make efforts to do something about it.
A Thriving at Work report for the Department of Work and Pensions as well as the Department of Health have 40 recommendations to improve mental health in the workplace including routine monitoring of the staff’s mental health and a plan for it. Farmer says that employers are being less productive, less effective, or have to take sick leave which is costing employers £99 billion a year with 300,000 people a year losing their jobs. The report states that 15% of employees show mental health symptoms.
British Prime Minister Theresa May believes that bosses should accept sick notes that are signed by mental health nurses so employers are able to come back to work. She also believes that staff should receive discounts on their insurance premiums. Schools should be well-informed on mental health in order for teachers and staff to identify and respond to mental health as early as possible for children to receive treatment.
There are businesses in the UK that acknowledge and created plans for mental health staff. Avira, a multinational insurance company, has mental health checks for their staff as well as a wellbeing app, nutritional advice, mental health support, and free income protection. They also train line managers in mental health support. South Liverpool Homes Housing Association created a mental health and wellbeing policy as well as checking every month with staff on how their wellbeing is. Legal and General, a top financial services company runs the Not a Red Card campaign to encourage more conversations on mental health. Only 11% of businesses include mental health in their annual reports. The UK needs to acknowledge the growing numbers of mental health employees in order to fix their economy. Prime Minister May continues with her efforts by writing to the Confederation of Business Industry, the Institute of Directors, and the Federation of Small Businesses.
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