Workplace Mental Health always a Priority, not just Blue Monday

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11 Dec 2017

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Blue Monday, originally coined back in 2005, continues to live on as the most depressing day of the year. This year, Blue Monday falls on 16 January and while it is likely to be used by advertisers to persuade people into buying a new bed or book a holiday for example, the mental health charity Mind has derided the notion of Blue Monday, claiming it has no foundation in scientific research.

While the day itself may be misleading, work-related stress, depression or anxiety is a very real issue for UK businesses, with the latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey showing that the total number of cases reported in 2015/16 was 488,000, a rate that has changed very little in the last decade. The total number of working days lost due to the condition is 11.7 million, with an average of 23.9 days lost per case and accounted for almost half of all work-related ill health cases and working days lost due to ill health. Depression can occur out of the blue, with no obvious reason, however in most instances it is usually something like ill health, stress or bereavement. There are a number of early warning signs that can indicate whether an employee is experiencing a mental health condition, including:

  • Increases in unexplained absences or sick leave
  • Poor performance or time keeping
  • Constant tiredness or low energy
  • Unusual displays of emotion.

Employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments at every stage of employment from recruitment through to return to work. In many cases simple and cost-effective adjustments can make a big difference, such as a reduction in work load or changes to the working environment. Employee Assistance Programmes, such as the one offered by Croner through Health Assured, can also make a difference through unlimited access to counsellors via telephone. For more information about the Croner EAP Service call us on 01455 858 132 or fill in our form on the Contact Croner page.

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