This week is Mental Health Awareness week and a great time for ICAEW members to think about the proactive steps they can take to support their employees’ mental health and wellbeing. After all, healthy staff tend to be happier and more productive.
As the economy begins to open up again and employees return to the workplace, managing mental health is one of the top priorities for businesses. The pandemic has created new mental health challenges – including digital fatigue, social isolation and money worries – as well as exacerbating existing conditions.
Research shows that 1 in 6 workers will experience depression, anxiety or stress-related problems at any one time at a cost of £1,300 per employee whose mental health needs are unsupported. So it’s in everyone’s interests to take a proactive approach.
ICAEW members can support employees’ mental health in several different ways. Establishing a health and wellbeing programme is important and listening to employees will help ensure the programme meets their specific needs.
Employee benefits can also provide essential support during difficult times. Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), Virtual GP services and mental health apps are all popular and cost-effective options. While core benefits such as Private Medical Insurance, Income Protection and Critical Illness are highly valued by employees and can offer peace of mind to them and their families.
Whatever mental health support you have in place, don’t forget to remind employees of what is available (including charities and free resources) and how to access it.
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