Mental Health
in the Workplace
Alex Connor
Senior Health Improvement Practitioner
The Business Case
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It is estimated that a total of 2.2m working days are lost every year
through mental ill health in Scotland (SAMH, 2007)
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Each case of stress-related ill health leads to an average of 29
working days lost per person per year (CITB)
34% of mental health service users are dismissed or forced to
resign work because of mental health issues (Read & Barker)
53% of service users in employment are fearful of revealing their
mental health problems to employers (MIND 2001)
30% unemployment among people with disabilities but 72% for
people disabled through mental ill health
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(Disability Rights Commission Scotland)
Benefits of a mentally
healthy workplace
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People who have experienced a mental health problem can be
more aware of their own strengths and weakness
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Providing support at an early stage can prevent escalation of a
condition
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Staff will feel supported and valued resulting in a healthier, more
motivated and productive workforce
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Employment or other valued activity is key to maintaining positive
mental health
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Your reputation and profile will be enhanced as a responsible and
well managed organisation helping to attract and keep employees
Legislation relating to workplaces
• The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
• The Equality Act 2010
• The Act protects all workers
• At every stage of the recruitment process
• During employment
• In relation to harassment
• At termination of employment
• During any redundancy programme
Protection for People with
Mental Health Problems
• Can disclose problem at any point
• Employers must consider ‘reasonable
adjustments’ from time of disclosure
• Direct discrimination, victimisation, harassment
and a failure to make adjustments that are
reasonable can never be justified
Reasonable Adjustments
Employers:
• Have a duty to provide reasonable adjustments
• Must negotiate reasonable adjustments with
employee
• Financial burden not an automatic reason not to
make adjustments
• Examples of reasonable adjustments
Job Retention Strategies
• Positive perspective on mental illness
• Job satisfaction
• A good fit between the job and the individual’s skills
and abilities
• Supportive and well trained management
• Early intervention and sufficient time off work to aid
recovery
• Individually tailored return to work programmes and
workplace adjustments
Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace
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Working conditions
Staff consultation
Clear expectations
Stigma and discrimination
Pace and style of work
Regular supervision and appraisal
Provide reasonable adjustments
Reward achievement
Promote healthy lifestyles
Health at Work
Tel: 0141 314 0024
www.healthatwork.org.uk
Healthy Working Lives
Adviceline 0800 019 2211
www.healthyworkinglives.com