A recently published report written by The Mental Health Foundation found that
- In 2013 there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety disorder!
- 1 in 6 people over the age of 16 had a common mental health problem in the week prior to being interviewed for the report.
- 4% of adults believe they have had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life
This final statistic means that if you employ 10 people, an average at least 4 of them will suffer from or have suffered from some kind of mental health condition.
That really is shocking, especially when you really think that you may have absolutely no idea that any of your employees or colleagues are suffering from or have suffered from mental health conditions.
Health care professionals, charities and the government are all taking steps to support the general public with mental health challenges. As business owners, department managers, team leaders and colleagues, we really must do our bit too.
If we don’t all take some responsibility for the mental wellbeing of the people around us, the people we work with and those who work for us we will be contributing to the estimated £34.9 billion (source: Centre for Mental Health) cost to business in the United Kingdom.
This does raise some very interesting questions around whether or not cases of mental health conditions are on the rise or is it simply that the stigma is dissipating, albeit slowly. If conditions are on the increase, what does that say and mean about society in general and our workplaces in particular? If however, an increase in reported conditions are associated with a change in the associated level of stigma around mental health, that can only be a good thing.
The Simple Take Is: One thing that is clear is that mental health conditions are not going away. What we have to do is to get better at dealing with them.