Work-related stress (WRS) is the second most commonly reported cause of occupational ill health in Great Britain. While the highest incidence rates are recorded in the public services – education, health and social care, prisons, emergency services, and local and central government – there is increasing evidence that it is becoming a significant problem in other sectors. When it is prolonged, WRS can lead to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as physical conditions. The key stressors most often identified are high workloads, high demands and insufficient support from managers. WRS accounts for 37% of all ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health. The total number of working days lost in 2015/16 was 11.7 million, with an average of 23.9 days per case. Of the 488 000 cases, 224 000 were new in that year. The overall economic cost to Great Britain was estimated to be over £5 billion.
For many of us, work is a major part of our lives. It is where we spend much of our time, where we get our income and often where make our friends. Having a fulfilling job can be a major contributory factor in maintaining our mental health and general wellbeing. We all have times when life gets on top of us – sometimes it’s work-related, sometimes it’s something else – our health, our relationships, or our circumstances. It’s vital that all organisations promote mental health at work for those with existing issues, for those at risk, and for their workforce as a whole. In 2016 The Mental Health Foundation concluded that good mental health and good management go hand in hand and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental well being are more productive.
Here at Emcare we believe in supporting businesses so that everyone can thrive. We also believe that supported and informed employers and employees are more able to create and develop thriving businesses. Alongside many other topics, UK Health Enterprises now offers courses in ‘Mental Health Awareness’ and ‘Mental Health Resilience’ for employees and managers, to learn more about either of these please contact us. At the end of November we will also be resuming our Mental Health First Aid programme. These serve as indicators of our on-going commitment to promoting a greater understanding of the broader physical, mental and social wellbeing issues that the workplace presents for employers and employees alike.