In fact, Towergate Health & Protection’s research shows that the situation is even more concerning for smaller businesses as 70% of larger corporates provide support for mental health and wellbeing, but less than half (49%) of SMEs provide support, and the figure is just 37% for micro companies.
With the theme of World Mental Health Day 2023 being ‘mental health is a universal human right’, the workplace provides an ideal environment for a large number of people to be reached. This may be in terms of giving employees the chance to improve their mental wellbeing and/or offering mental health support if needed.
Everyone should be given access to mental health support at work, whatever the size of the company. Whilst I appreciate it can seem overwhelming for smaller businesses to consider what best to do for the wellbeing of their staff – as there are so many apps, services and products available now – they need to consider what they may already have available to them. A number of insurance products have extended their propositions to include added-value services, which support emotional and psychological wellbeing. These can include virtual GP services, employee assistance programmes, fitness support, nutritional support, meditation apps and services, and counselling helplines. There are also some charities and free resources that they can tap into.
It is also important to understand what your employees will actually value, so having surveys, forums, steering groups, questionnaires, polls, or just talking in office/branch meetings, will mean you invest where it will really make a difference. This will vary depending on your business, the people within it and the culture supporting it.
Providing mental health support can be extremely cost effective and can pay for itself in terms of the increased productivity and lack of absence seen in employees who are mentally well and resilient.
Given the number of ways there are to offer support for mental wellbeing, including options to suit every budget, and given the huge benefits this support can bring to employees and businesses alike, providing mental health support would seem an easy and obvious decision.