The Hidden Mental Health Issues That Are Costing Us All

You know your business better than anyone. So it may be surprising to hear that it’s possible that one or more of your staff is living with a mental health problem - and it could be eating in to your profits.

A recent mental health review commissioned by the government revealed that 15% of people at work have symptoms of an existing mental health condition. Even more staggeringly, it was found that poor mental health costs the UK economy £99 billion per year. £42 billion of that cost is borne by employers.

In short: reviewing your approach to mental health needs is not just an issue of compassion for your staff and colleagues. It’s crucial to the prosperity of your business. In this article we will explain how your business can take a positive, progressive stance on mental health issues at work.

Changing attitudes towards mental health

The stigma around mental health is being lifted through media debate and political focus. One in four people will experience mental health difficulties at some point in their life. Yet many employees still feel unable to come forward and talk openly about mental health at work. That’s a big problem. Because at a time when mental health trusts and services have never been busier, your staff cannot be made to feel that they must suffer in silence.

How can you make a difference?

The accounting industryis a demanding, challenging environment to work in. It’s a busy and often high-pressure industry. Any effort you make to create a more progressive attitude towards mental health in your business is likely to be rewarded.

In an analysis of existing workplace strategies to improve the mental health of employees, Deloitte found that employers generated returns to business of between £1.50 and £9 for every £1 spent. 

Resilience training, mindfulness programmes and free therapy are just a few of the ways you could help to improve the mental hygiene of your business.

But what about the impact of mental health problems on personal finances?

The financial impact of poor mental health

Numerous research has evidenced strong links between mental health and financial health. When one suffers, the other tends to follow suit. Three times as many adults with mental health problems report money problems than those without.

What does that mean for your business?

If a staff member is signed off work for an extended period of time they may be forced to survive on Statutory Sick Pay, which amounts to just £89.35 per week. That enhanced financial pressure could exacerbate their condition, prolong their time off work and leave you short-staffed for longer.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

How income protection can boost your business

Income protection is a type of insurance that covers a proportion of staff wages when injury or illness forces them out of work. That reduces the financial burden on you as an employer. It reduces the length of staff absence. And it improves your productivity as a business.

Almost half of UK employees believe their workplace has a negative impact on their physical or mental health. Giving your staff the peace of mind that they will be able to meet their financial commitments if they were temporarily unable to work can allay many of the financial anxieties that could trigger a deterioration in mental health.

Where to find income protection cover

A number of insurers offer income protection cover. But we like to think we are the best out there. Our policies can cover both mental and physical illnesses and cover up to 70% of each employee’s salary. And as a not-for-profit society, we share our profits with our policyholders. Financial peace of mind begins from as little as £15 per month per employee.

Mental health is high on the political agenda. The government has promised to invest an extra £1.3 billion annually in mental health services by 2021. But change must come from the bottom up as well as the top down. We want to help your business step on to the front foot and adopt a progressive approach towards mental health. Are you willing to take the journey with us?

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