World Mental Health Day: Tuesday 10 October 2023
Only just over half (54%) of companies provide support for their employees’ mental health and wellbeing, according to research by Towergate Health & Protection. The research is revealed ahead of World Mental Health Day (Tuesday 10 October) and shows the areas where more could be done to support the mental wellbeing of employees.
Drilling down into the research to look at how the support offered differs by size of company, 70% of large corporates provide support for mental health and wellbeing, but this figure dips to less than half (49%) for SMEs, and just 37% for micro companies. Support also differs by industry, with companies in the construction industry least likely to provide mental health support (43%), while employees in healthcare are most likely to have access to support (80%).
Debra Clark, head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, says: “Everyone should be given access to mental health support at work, regardless of the size of company or the industry in which they are based.”
The 2023 theme of World Mental Health Day is ‘mental health is a universal human right’, and the workplace provides an ideal environment for a large number of people to be provided with the chance to improve their mental wellbeing and to be given mental health support if needed.
Providing mental health support can be extremely cost effective and can pay for itself in terms of the increased productivity and lack of absence seen in employees who are mentally well and resilient.
There are lots of options available for employers to support mental health, including many apps that promote mental wellbeing as an entry level to providing support. This can be enhanced by further digital tools right through to offering counselling, often available through a number of employee benefits including employee assistance programmes. A full programme could include introducing mental health first aiders and looking at wider wellbeing initiatives.
Debra Clark says: “With the number of ways to offer mental wellbeing support, options at every level, and the huge benefits it brings, we would encourage every employer to offer it. “