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300,000 leave jobs each year due to lack of mental health support

Monday 6th November 2017
A new report has revealed hundreds of thousands of UK employees feel they have to leave their jobs each year due to a lack of workplace support with mental health issues. Image: kieferpix via iStock
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Campaigners are calling for more workplace support for people with mental health conditions in light of new data showing that some 300,000 UK workers leave their jobs each year due to mental health struggles.

This is one of the findings of the Thriving at Work report, which has been co-written by Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind.

The report found that discussing mental health conditions still appears to be a taboo in many workplaces, despite awareness of illnesses like anxiety, depression and stress increasing in recent years.

What's more, research showed that hundreds of thousands of people dropping out of work due to a lack of mental health support is costing the UK economy as much as £99 billion every year.

However, this could all be prevented with increased mental health training for employers and better support for employees - something that may lead to an increase in job opportunities for mental health support workers throughout the country.

Speaking to BBC News, Mr Farmer commented: "Opportunities are missed to prevent poor mental health and ensure that employees who may be struggling get the support they need.

"In many instances, employers simply don't understand the crucial role they can play or know where to go for advice and support."

As a result, mental health campaigners want to see significant changes to employers' understanding of how they can support staff who are struggling with conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression.

Altogether, the report makes 40 recommendations for how organisations can improve in this area, with one of the key points for them to include a section on staff mental health in future annual reports.

Just 11 per cent of businesses currently do this, but the report authors believe that encouraging more to follow suit will help to open up more conversations on the topic and end the stigma surrounding mental health at work.

Written by Angela Newbury

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