THE FACTS ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS IN THE UK
In the UK, 1 in 4; that's an estimated 17 million people, grapple with various mental health challenges each year. These issues; spanning from anxiety to depression, exact a significant toll on individuals and the nation as a whole. (1)
Two-thirds (67%) of young people said they would prefer to be able to access mental health support without going to see their GP but half (53%) said they didn't know how else to access this help (10).
Despite heightened awareness, accessing mental health services for these young people has been an ongoing struggle. Many of them face frustratingly long waiting times to get the vital help and support they need. It's disheartening to think about how these delays can affect their lives.
This equates to approximately £2,000 per employee per year, reflecting the growing challenges of burnout, emotional detachment from work, and increased absenteeism.
In the evolving landscape of mental health awareness, expectations on employers are undergoing a profound transformation. This shift necessitates a heightened commitment to investment in various aspects of mental health support within the workplace. This includes initiatives such as enhanced screening processes, comprehensive training measures encompassing mental health awareness, the provision of personal therapy options and early intervention techniques. (3)
Despite heightened awareness, barriers to accessing mental health services persist, with lengthy waiting times for therapy and specialised care. This means the appetite from employees when it comes to wanting to access mental health assistance has reached unprecedented levels. This trend also extends to the increasing adoption of digital tools, apps, and assistance programs, which appear poised for continued growth. (3)
In this changing business landscape, it is clear that proactive measures in support of mental health not only contribute to the wellbeing of employees but also yield tangible benefits for businesses and society at large.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
These statistics are a clear indication that we as a society need to come together in a collaborative way to address the mental health challenges affecting us all. These statistics are not a judgement of the way things are, more an indication of what positive impact we can have if we come together to affect real change.
There's a glimmer of hope in all of this as there's a growing commitment to addressing these challenges, but what can we do as a society to look out for each other and create a supportive and empathetic environment where mental well-being is a top priority?