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Time to Talk Day 2021 – Mental Health in the Workplace

Time to Talk Day 2021 – Mental Health in the Workplace
04 February 2021

66 per cent of employees think that moving forward, more time and resources will be dedicated to mental health in the workplace due to COVID.

This data comes from an anonymous survey of UK employees from 300 companies, commissioned by workforce training course comparison site CoursesOnline, to discover how attitudes towards mental wellbeing have been shaped throughout the pandemic.

With it being Time to Talk Day on 4 February, the cost of not investing in your employees’ mental health is high on the agenda, and perhaps even more so since the working from home revolution began almost a year ago.


“Businesses who do not take an interest in strengthening their mental wellbeing provision also risk missing the opportunity to access a talent pool that would be loyal to a company that prioritises positive mental wellbeing.”

–Bob Andrews

CEO, Benenden Health


Construction Firms Risk Losing Top Talent Due to Poor Mental Health Support


Almost a third of construction firms in the UK have seen an employee move on because their mental wellbeing wasn’t being looked after, with one in five losing a key member of their workforce, according to not-for-profit healthcare provider, Benenden Health.

The survey of UK employers and employees revealed that 32 per cent of construction, engineering and building firms have experience of an employee leaving their company because their mental wellbeing wasn’t cared for, with 21 per cent saying they had lost a really valuable staff member, suggesting businesses could face a staff retention crisis as employees struggle with increasing mental health demands.

Additionally, 40 per cent of employees in the construction and engineering sector took time off work due to poor mental health in 2019, compared to 35 per cent across all sectors, with workers absent for between two and five days on average, costing UK businesses an estimated 40 million individual days of work across all sectors.

Bob Andrews, CEO at Benenden Health, commented: “It is concerning that employers in the construction industry have reported losing good staff due to poor mental wellbeing provision, something that employees clearly consider important, and which could be creating a perfect storm for UK businesses.

“The data does highlight that employers need to listen to their employees about what they need, and promote good mental wellbeing within their organisation, as this can have a real positive effect not only on the health of employees but also on absence rates, productivity, recruitment and retention.

“Businesses who do not take an interest in strengthening their mental wellbeing provision also risk missing the opportunity to access a talent pool that would be loyal to a company that prioritises positive mental wellbeing.”


A Message from a Mental Health First Aider




What Can Firms do to Combat Mental Health Issues in the Workplace?


Ultimately there are many different options through which organisations can look to address mental health issues and everyone will have their own preference. At the Learning People for instance, they have experimented numerous initiatives which others may look to adopt such as:

  1. Creating an employee wellbeing group with a wellbeing rep nominated from each team to be the wellbeing spokesperson
  2. All members of the employee wellbeing group are Mental Health Awareness trained by ‘Mind’ to ensure they know how to spot the signs of poor mental health and provide support where necessary
  3. Participation in Time to Talk Day - providing conversation starter cards and cakes to all employees to raise awareness of the importance of talking to others
  4. Regular calls with HR for all employees who are working from home and more frequent calls with those who require additional mental health support
  5. Discounted gym and fitness schemes due to the link between good physical and mental health

The Mental Health First Aider organisation also provide good information pack resources for those wanting to take responsibiltiy as individuals, employers or workplace managers, which are available to download for free now.

Picture: a graphic from Time to Talk Day, showing an ant carrying a leaf which says "the power of small on it". Text underneath the image says "a small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference"

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 04 February 2021


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