Towergate Health & Protection’s findings highlight urgent need for improved employee well-being
A recent study conducted by Towergate Health & Protection reveals that just over half of companies, specifically 54%, currently offer support for the mental health and overall wellbeing of their employees. This research comes to light in anticipation of World Mental Health Day, scheduled for 10 October, shedding light on areas where companies can enhance their efforts to bolster their employees’ mental wellbeing.
When we delve into the data, we find disparities in the level of support provided based on the size of the company. Larger corporations appear to be leading the charge, with 70% of them offering mental health and wellbeing support. However, the picture is less optimistic for smaller businesses, with only 49% of SMEs and a mere 37% of micro-companies extending such support to their workforce. Moreover, support levels also vary across industries, with the construction sector lagging behind at 43%, while healthcare companies lead the way at 80%.
Debra Clark, Head of Wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, emphasises that every employee should have access to mental health support in their workplace, irrespective of the company’s size or industry.
The theme for World Mental Health Day in 2023 is ‘mental health is a universal human right,’ underscoring the workplace as an ideal setting to provide numerous individuals with the opportunity to enhance their mental wellbeing and access the necessary mental health support when required.
Importantly, providing mental health support can prove to be highly cost-effective. The resulting benefits, including increased productivity and reduced absenteeism among mentally healthy and resilient employees, often more than offset the initial investment.
Employers have a wide array of options to support mental health. These range from simple smartphone apps designed to promote mental well-being, which can serve as an initial step, to more comprehensive digital tools and even counselling services. Many of these resources are made available through employee benefits, such as employee assistance programmes. A holistic approach may also involve introducing mental health first aiders and implementing broader wellbeing initiatives.
In conclusion, Debra Clark emphasises that given the multitude of avenues for offering mental well-being support and the significant advantages it delivers, every employer should be encouraged to make it a priority.