Employers Must "Step up to the Mark" on Mental Health

Thursday, October 26, 2017 Mental Health News
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LEICESTER, England, October 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

The leading global professional health and safety body today

calls on employers to "step up to the mark" and commit to new standards on workplace mental health.

With 300,000 people in the UK with long-term mental health problems losing their job annually, a new independent review called Thriving at

Work urges all employers to commit to six core standards on mental health.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) says employers and relevant bodies should take heed. Earlier this month, it published research which found that employers can and must do more to help employees return to work following absence due to common mental disorders.

Among the findings of the IOSH research, Return to work after common mental disorders, were that high workload and pressure was perceived as the primary cause of absence, mental health conditions were seen as a consequence of the absence rather than a cause, and those off sick long-term often disliked their work, affecting their motivation to return.

Key recommendations were:

  • more education for managers and supervisors on how to support workers;
  • helping workers gain self-awareness and insight into their own needs and values, and keeping in touch with those who seem to engage less in recovery-enhancing behaviour;
  • using a personalised return approach and greater collaboration between stakeholders.

To view IOSH's research, visit: http://www.iosh.co.uk/rtwmentalhealth

Richard Jones, head of policy and public affairs at IOSH, said: "Employers have a vital role in providing supportive workplaces. It's time for them to step up to the mark on mental health.

"All work needs to be 'good work' and effective management benefits individuals, businesses and the economy.

"Everyone can contribute to improving mental health at work and supporting people with problems. Health and safety professionals and professional bodies like IOSH are keen to help organisations to get it right. IOSH provides lots of free guidance and tools on this."

The standards covered in the Thriving at Work review include mental health at work plans, mental health awareness for employees, line management responsibilities and routine monitoring of staff mental health and wellbeing.

Large employers and the public sector are expected to go even further, demonstrating best practice through external reporting and designated leadership responsibility.

The review makes 40 recommendations for Government and business to support these principles. IOSH's 47,000 members, plus its research and expertise can help drive this change.

Contact: Marcus Boocock, Communications Officer, IOSH - +44(0)116-257-3139; Marcus.boocock@iosh.com

SOURCE Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)

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