Poor Mental Health Culture Costing UK Economy £37 Billion per Year

 27th Jun 2016

The affliction of mental health illnesses can lead to a range of consequential occurrences in a person’s life including the development of secondary conditions as well as socioeconomic issues.

With increasing numbers of people being affected and a still ever-present stigma rife in the modern day, mental health conditions have been found to cost the UK economy £37 billion a year.

This substantial figure was discovered using data obtained from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which also found people living with mild to moderate mental health illnesses to be twice as likely to be unemployed.

These include conditions such as depression and anxiety which, rather worryingly, can affect as much as 20% of the UK population in any given year – over 12 million people at the time of writing.

Both of the aforementioned mental health issues can greatly affect a person’s every-day life in profound ways and can make both relationships and careers hard to maintain.

In addition, factors such as stress have found to be strong influencers on workplace absenteeism – an issue which inevitably places financial pressures upon many businesses, particularly those with larger workforces.

However, it is not necessarily just a private matter as Matthew Judge, technical Director of Jelf Employee benefits states companies who offer minimal benefits to their employees are far more likely to be affected by the issue of increased absence rates.

He advises businesses to invest in their workforce with perks such as healthcare and protection policies in order to safeguard their wellbeing and, ultimately, lead to the development of a healthier and more reliable workforce.

Furthermore, many people are often apprehensive of confiding in their employer in regards to their physical and mental health through fear of this disclosure affecting their performance or even job security.

Social pressures and people’s inhibitions about being scrutinised by their peers are common factors which can force individuals to be reluctant about being open and honest about their mental health – an experience which should be empowering and uplifting.

Because of this, companies need to encourage a culture of honesty and openness amongst all employees in order to ensure each and every person is content with discussing their issues should they wish to do so. 

Support Workers at Encompass provide a wide range of care services to help improve the lives of people living with enduring mental health conditions and learning disabilities on a daily basis.

Find out how our compassionate team can help you or a loved one by clicking here.

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