There are a great deal of mental health statistics flying about these days. So many in fact that, although they’re shocking, it’s too easy to forget them. Here are 7 of the most important that an organisation should be aware of.
1. One in four
Of all the statistics about mental health you’re likely to hear, this is perhaps the most common. It’s the troubling fact that 1 in 4 of us will experience a Common Mental Disorder (CMD) at some point in our lives (NHS, 2014). That’s a quarter of the people you know at work. A quarter of your family. A quarter of… everyone.
For this reason alone, mental health should be a priority for your organisation. It’s not a fringe of people you are unlikely to ever meet. It’s the people all around you and possibly you yourself. Organisations just can’t afford to turn a blind eye when 25% of their workforce are likely to be affected by a mental health issue.
2. Every 40 seconds
This is a big one. It’s probably the mental health statistic that shocks the most when we discuss it in our workshops. And it’s this – every 40 seconds, somebody, somewhere in the world, commits suicide. And for every completed suicide, there are 25 suicide attempts (International Association for Suicide Prevention, 2017). When I said earlier that there are so many mental health statistics it’s easy to forget them, this is the kind of statistic that we really shouldn’t be forgetting. Mental health issues have a real impact on individuals, their families, their friends and their colleagues. We shouldn’t lose sight of that. However, creating the right environment in an organisation can go a long way towards helping a person feel supported. It’s about breaking down stigma so that a person is comfortable discussing an issue and able to stop the situation escalating.
3. 57% of people
Above, I mentioned that we need to break down stigma. Here’s why: it stops people talking about mental health. Do you know how many of us it prevents discussing our mental health? 57% of us. That’s well over half the population who would not discuss a mental health condition they were suffering from to anyone at all (Capita, 2015). Not family, a doctor, their friends and certainly not a manager. In fact, 87% of employees would not feel comfortable disclosing a mental health condition to their line manager (Business in the Community, 2017). This is because employees fear discrimination in some way or are ashamed or embarrassed. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that if employees feel unable to disclose a mental health condition, then managers are unlikely to be able to help. Organisations should do everything they can to raise awareness and ensure that, as far as possible, employees can discuss issues with their manager and know they will be supported.
4. 24 days
Another troubling mental health statistic is that, on average, sickness absence due to poor mental health lasts 24 days. This is far longer than the average for physical illnesses (Labour Force Survey, 2017). It makes sense then for organisations to focus on promoting good mental health. In our article on the financial costs of poor mental health to businesses, we explore just how much money is lost and what steps should be taken to bring the cost down.
5. 49% of work-related absences
Given that there is a 24-day average for the length of time off, organisations should be concerned to hear that 49% of work-related absences are due to stress, anxiety or depression (Labour Force Survey, 2017). It makes good sense then for organisations to be proactive about tackling these issues.
6. 36% of employees
Another work related mental health statistic businesses should be concerned with is, thankfully, one they can do something about. 36% of employees have complained to their employer about stress in the past, but the employer has done nothing to help (Capita, 2017). Organisations should ensure that managers know how to manage levels of pressure effectively to reduce stress. Organisations should also have a processes in place to help employees who feel they need support. Many organisations have Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), but employees or managers either forget about them or aren’t aware they’re available. It’s also possible that some managers hope the problem will go away because they’re not sure how to deal with it. Of course, the problem escalates and makes it harder to deal with later. It is important therefore, that managers are trained to handle complaints of stress effectively.
7. 31% would leave
Finally, your organisation should be aware what employees are really thinking. Sadly,many of them think they should leave their jobs. When surveyed, 31% of staff said they would consider leaving their role within the next 12 months if stress levels din’t improve. The prospect of staff leaving should concern an organisation, but actually it may be the people who stay who do more damage. The greatest cost to business from poor mental health is that of presenteeism. That’s people who turn up when they should have time off and don’t perform well as a result. This costs £26 billion each year compared to the £8 billion lost due to turnover. Financially then, it makes real sense to invest in promoting good mental health.
“Organisations need to take action to prevent
the huge financial and human cost…”
As you can see, these mental health statistics are crucial for an organisation to be aware of. But that’s not enough. Organisations need to take action to prevent the huge financial and human cost that comes from poor mental health. If you’re not convinced yet here’s one more mental health statistic as a bonus:
4:1 return on investment
According to research by Deloitte (2017), for every £1 spent on mental health interventions companies can realise at least a £4.20 return. So investing in mental health is the right thing to do for both people and business.
Delphis offers face-to-face workshops and online courses delivered and developed by highly educated business managers, academics and teachers. We are committed to guiding companies along the path to creating healthy, productive and rewarding working environments for their staff. The financial argument is compelling and caring for your employees is the right thing to do.
One major multi-national client has taken the right step by getting involved in our workshops:
“Very relevant and informative… engaging and inclusive style. Worth spending a whole day on… need to roll out to whole company… loved the takeaway workbook… pretty much perfect.”
Please get in touch to discuss how we can provide customised mental health training for your organisation that fits your needs.