The next: sign up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment
6th November, 2019
At the Mad
World Summit, I gave an overview of the Business in the Community (BITC) fourth
Mental Health at Work 2019 report, produced in partnership with Mercer
Marsh Benefits and BITC’s Wellbeing Leadership Team.
Informed by a
national, statistically valid YouGov panel, the report gives a snapshot of the
state of the nation’s mental health at work and provides a barometer to track
In the past few
years, we’ve seen growing momentum around the tangible need for mental health
improvements from the Government and mental health stakeholders, including
employers. The Stevenson Farmer review has stressed the critical importance of
helping employees to thrive at work.
have been made in some areas of the workplace, this isn’t translating into
mainstream action. Support for mental health is undermined by working
conditions being a major cause of mental health issues. 2 in 5 (39%) of employees
have experienced poor mental health due to work, or where work was a
contributing factor and in the past year this has increased.
mental health as ‘business as usual’ has still got a long way to go, and in
some areas the stigma is getting worse with 51% of employees, down from 54% in
2018, feeling comfortable about talking about mental health issues at work.
A profound cultural shift is paramount so that work itself
doesn’t cause poor mental health. We won’t achieve parity between physical and
mental health until more employers take ownership over their role and create
workplaces that enhance positive mental health.
The purpose of Business in the Community’s Wellbeing
Leadership Team is to build a movement that is committed to positioning health
and wellbeing as strategic boardroom issues, with a particular focus on mental
health, to drive collective action through evidence-based, practical solutions.
Leadership Team has been working alongside the Thriving at Work Leadership
Council to develop an employer Mental Health Commitment. The Council and
Wellbeing Leadership Teams are made up of leading employers across the private,
public and voluntary sector, along with leading industry bodies and experts in
October marked the launch of this Mental Health at Work Commitment. In a
crowded and confusing marketplace, the Commitment is a simple umbrella
framework to improve mental health at work. It draws together key activity,
which employers have tried and tested, and provides a simple, practical way for
employers to navigate the complex workplace mental health landscape. The three
calls to action highlighted in the Mental Health at Work 2019 report are aligned to the six standards in the
Commitment along with stretch recommendations for leaders.
The commitment is key to driving
collective action through evidence-based, practical solutions to build a
movement, so all employees can succeed and thrive at work. Simply, the
commitment will enable employers to improve mental health at work.
organisations, that recognise the importance of mental health in the workplace,
we would like to ask you to be some of the first employers to join us on this
journey and obtain support from your Chief Executive to sign up and take action.
Details of how to do this can found on the Mental Health at Work
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Louise Aston is Wellbeing Director for Business in the Community. In the context of responsible business, the aim of BITC’s Wellbeing Campaign is to create environments where individuals and organisations can be at their best by taking a preventative, whole person, joined up approach to physical, mental, financial and social health.