More than 800,000 employees took time off work in 2019/2020 due to self-reported work-related stress, depression or anxiety, which equated to 17.9 million working days lost. It’s still a relatively new thing for businesses to be made accountable for mental as well as physical issues, but are you doing enough to protect your workforce?

The figures were reported in ISOH at the end of 2020, citing the latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The article went on to detail that workload, lack of support, violence, threats or bullying and changes at work are thought to be the main causes of these self-reported issues, based on Labour Force Survey data.

The HSE started collecting data on work-related stress, anxiety and depression in 2001. This was two years after the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations came into force, which required employers to carry stress risk assessments and act upon them. At the point this came into force there was a steady decline in issues until 2006. Then it returned sharply to 2001 levels, and over the past five years it has continued to increase.

The obvious connection with the increase is that the stigma of mental health issues has decreased over this time and therefore people feel more able to self diagnose and share with others. But this doesn’t account for the vast numbers still.

Emily Pearson, founder and managing director of corporate mental health training consultancy Our Mind’s Work, spoke to ISOH stating that: “Employers must take ownership of the problem by implementing a robust strategy that provides evaluation of the problem areas and education, skills and training and the tools to deliver the solutions effectively, reducing work related stress before it turns into a psychological injury.”

The impact of the pandemic over the past twelve months has undoubtedly affected the mental health of many people, and employers have a duty of care to ensure that they are taking all necessary precautions to protect their staff during the working day. Has your business put a strategy in place to deal with this? Would you even know where to start?

More and more businesses are finding that they need extra support to ensure they stay on top of their health and safety requirements. If you could benefit from extra help, then let’s have a chat. I can provide advice and guidance on the best way forward for your business.

Follow this link to read the original article from ISOH.