Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Bringing mental health to work

Peace of Mind conference fills nearly every seat Peace of Mind conference fills nearly every seat
Melissa Porter | 10 October, 2017, 02:45

Minister for Health, Roger Cook, said that; "with one in five of us experiencing mental health issues in any given year and the many hours we spend at work, it is critical that workplaces know how to create environments that help their employees thrive".

The Australian Government has launched a new digital mental health gateway - Head to Health.

"The importance of raising awareness and encouraging open, honest conversations about mental health in the workplace can not be understated", said Legal & General chief executive Nigel Wilson, who is holding a mental health forum next week.

Many previous studies have also shown how access to nature and green spaces can benefit health, with a 2015 study of U.S. adults findings that men in particular and those age 65 and above sleep better when they have access to nature, with better sleep linked to a lower risk of depression.

And according to a separate study, employees feel clear communication that mental health issues are a valid reason for sick leave would make for a more inclusive workplace.

The team found that by using the psychological treatment to improve sleep, they could also improve mental health, with a lack of sleep often linked to a higher risk of depression.

"It is understandable if a lot of older people, having seen so much and having experienced so many ups and downs through life, take the view that feeling depressed or anxious is just something they have to put up with, not illnesses that are just as deserving of a proper medical response as a physical problem like a chest infection or a leg ulcer", Abrahams continued.

The health startup said firms in the FTSE 100 that addressed the issue of employee mental health and wellbeing issues in their annual reports past year enjoyed up to three times more profit. As a result, to date over 206,000 people in England have Mental Health First Aid skills.

By company, Lloyds Banking Group mentioned mental health 13 times in its annual report, followed by Royal Mail which used it ten times, while British Airways' owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) was among the firms that didn't mention either word. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally more than 300 million people suffer from depression, while more than 260 million people live with anxiety disorder and most live with these two conditions.

The research is also released the day before mental health day, on 10 October.