One in six people in England have mental health problems

CloseDanielle Broussard | Staff Artist

CloseDanielle Broussard | Staff Artist

Poor mental health causes up to 300,000 people to leave their jobs every year, according to a review called "Thriving at Work".

A major review into mental health in the workplace has found that around a sixth of those who work in England have symptoms of a mental health problem. It includes research by audit firm Deloitte on costs to employers and the state.

May has said the civil service and NHS will sign up to the new recommendations, and recommends the private sector to follow suit.

The exercise involved screenings, blood pressure test, mental health assessment surrounding anxiety, depression, alcoholism and a mental health talk.

The report made a list of recommendations about how employers and the government can better support employees that are suffering.

An embattled prime minister may be given to wondering about her legacy.

"The human cost of failing to address mental health in the workplace is clear".

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When concerns are identified, children and young people, and their families, often struggle to navigate the complicated and fractured system of services created by a lack of joined-up working.

Recommendations for the government include introducing legal changes to enhance protection for people with mental health conditions and the development of a more flexible model for statutory sick pay, to help people return to work gradually.

"Psychology has practical, evidence based solutions to offer in the current debate over the mental health of our children, young people and their families that have the potential to transform what is now provided and both reduce the incidence of difficulties and improve the care provided".

It suggested a six-point set of "core standards" for employers which included producing, implementing and communicating a mental health at work plan; developing mental health awareness among employees; encouraging open conversations about mental health and the support available; providing good working conditions; promoting effective people management; and routinely monitoring employee mental health and well-being.

The authors conclude: "At a time when there is a national focus on productivity, the inescapable conclusion is that it is massively in the interest of both employers and Government to prioritise and invest far more in improving mental health".

Half of this is accounted for by "presenteeism" - where people come to work, but are less productive due to poor mental health - with additional costs from sickness absence and staff turnover.

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