Health and Wellbeing

Managing mental health in the workplace

This article is brought to you in partnership with Vivup, the health and wellbeing employee benefits provider

Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) can struggle to manage mental health in the workplace. 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%)1. As a result, the impact on the business if staff have mental health problems can be significant.

Mental health is one of the greatest causes of sickness absence in the UK. Since 2009 the number of employees absent due to mental health reasons has risen by around 5%2. In fact, 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions1. That can be particularly difficult to manage if you have a small team as it can increase the workload for other employees and have a negative impact on morale.

‘Presenteeism’ - where staff show up for work when they are unwell - is also a problem. It can damage employees’ mental health further and can result in a loss of productivity. People with a mental health condition are three times more likely to have a long term period of sickness2.

Many people worry about telling their employer that they have a mental health issue: they think it might potentially limit their career progression and or damage work relationships. 35% of people believe they would be less likely to get promoted if they have depression.

How can you support mental health in the workplace?

Even small businesses can access health and wellbeing programmes to provide their employees with the support they need and reduce any negative impact on the business. Our partner Vivup – a specialist provider in physical, financial and mental health wellbeing employee benefits – offers Employee Assistance Provision (EAP) and mental health training to help your business manage mental health in the workplace.

What is Employee Assistance Provision?

Employee Assistance Provision (EAP) provides a range of information, practical support, a telephone helpline and face-to-face sessions for employees who ask for mental health support. This can help staff cope with anxiety, depression or mood swings; or deal with relationship difficulties, work related problems, bereavement and other mental health issues.

Employees learn coping mechanisms or receive counselling or clinical support, and also learn how to balance their mental health with work and other commitments.

Mental health awareness training

Employers are increasingly aware of the importance of supporting their staff but may not have the necessary skills to deal with mental health issues. The Mental Health Awareness training provided onsite by Vivup is run by qualified and professional clinicians. Vivup’s expert training and consultancy supports organisations in taking a proactive approach to mental health and minimising the impact on individuals and the organisation.

Mental health awareness does not teach people to be therapists, but to spot the signs of mental health problems. Individuals can then be encouraged to engage in conversation and seek the appropriate support.

Offering EAP or mental health training can reduce both absence and presenteeism, as well as having a positive impact on productivity, morale and retention.

Raising awareness of mental health support in the workplace

As with any initiative or programme, to get the benefits it’s important to promote your schemes proactively. After all, if your employees are unaware of the support available, or if they feel stigmatised in any way, they are unlikely to request it.

Fortunately, Vivup have developed an award winning communications strategy which has seen employee engagement increase dramatically over both small and large businesses.  This was recognised recently at the 2019 Employee Benefits Awards when Vivup’s client Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust won ‘Best Benefits Communications for a Large Employer’ and  exceeded targets by over 482%.

Currys PC World have worked with Vivup for many years and like their approach to employee benefits which has a focus on health and wellbeing, rather than just perks and rewards. Vivup offer employers a great deal of assistance in developing campaigns that are easy to roll out whatever the size of your company or organisation.

About Vivup

Taking good care of your workforce isn’t just about offering individual benefits anymore, it’s about taking a holistic view and trying to understand and meet their needs. Vivup makes it easy for employers to take a different approach to employee benefits by focusing on physical, financial and mental health wellbeing and the benefits to both employees and employers. Vivup will provide your staff with the support network they need to help maintain positive mental health. From managing stress, relaxation and meditation to accessing professional help with Employee Assistance Provision (EAP) – Vivup’s approach meets the complex needs of your workforce.

To find out more get in touch today to request a demo of Vivup’s health and wellbeing portal.

If you book a free demo of Vivup’s health and wellbeing portal by 30st September 2019 (Ts & Cs apply), you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win free mental health training for 20 employees.

Email sales@vivup.co.uk and quote 'Carphone' to book your demo.

1. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-mental-health-work

2. Thriving at work – the Stevenson / Farmer review of mental health and employers


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