RedArc pinpoints three key mental health burdens for employees
With mental health issues affecting as many as 70% of the UK workforce at some point, RedArc has revealed that three main issues are adding to the burden of these concerns for employees: work and finances, personal problems and finding their way around the NHS for the right treatment.
Christine Husbands, managing director of RedArc says: “Speak to someone with mental health problems and you’ll quickly understand that one problem runs in to another and another, and the accompanying concerns can quickly outweigh the reason for the initial diagnosis.”
RedArc has expanded on what these concerns mean for employees:
- Debt: unable to afford to stay off work sick
- How can I go back to work and face everyone?
- Pressure from self/employer/colleagues, however unintentional, to get back to work as soon as possible
- On return to work, lack of proper phased return, expectation to ‘hit the floor running’
- Fatigue: return to work can be very tiring, especially if not managed well by the employer
- Shame/stigma of mental health problems
- Loss of confidence
- Withdrawal from social life and hobbies
- Withdrawal from family and other relationships
- Feeling of lack of control: especially of emotions
- Pressure from self: ‘I should be able to…’ expectation to be back to their normal self quickly, not allowing time to properly recover
- Fear of failure: for example, not being able to do their job properly when they return to work
- Navigating the NHS: knowing where to start, which departments to contact, what services are available
- Not receiving or being signposted to appropriate treatment
- Long waiting times
- Lack of funding for appropriate support
- Lack of understanding from GP
Employers are increasingly tapping into their employees’ mental health needs, but many industry experts believe that more needs to be done.
Husbands adds, “Large employers can tap into mental health specialists, perhaps via comprehensive group insurances such as PMI and group risk but this isn’t necessarily out of reach for smaller employers, where such specialist support is not uncommon as part of employee benefits such as group critical illness and employee assistance programmes.
“Selecting a partner to provide support either directly or via an insurance product, can be a great help for the employer, enabling them to offer effective independent confidential support – helping reduce absenteeism, increase productivity as well as creating resilient staff and a positive working environment.”