Mental health has become a major talking point following the international health crisis. Months of isolation, fears over health, and the damage to the economy have each contributed to a rising number of disorders, such as anxiety and depression, culminating in substantial pressure upon the NHS and supporting mental health services.
Historically, that is before the pandemic, businesses have generally overlooked mental health services, neglecting to offer services like workplace counselling. A recent study describes the disparity between calls for such support among employees and the few counselling services offered within workplaces. A stigma persists, with an estimated 50% of staff members feeling unable to discuss their mental health with line managers and only 11% of the top businesses willing to discuss the support they offer to employees.
In response to the rising cases of mental ill-health, this stigma within the workplace is finally being tackled, with businesses beginning to extend their duty of care from the realms of physical health into mental wellbeing. And, as this support is enabled, they are beginning to see benefits.
Fewer Sick Days
There remains some resistance to the premise that mental health is as affecting as physical health, which is why a number of employees continue to disguise their mental ill-health with physical symptoms, claiming sick days without giving their true reasoning.
By offering workplace counselling, businesses can not only combat the stigma associated with mental health disorders but can also reduce the number of sick days an employee takes, with businesses already demonstrating a reduction in absenteeism as high as 50% when offering support within the workplace.
Happier staff, those who feel cared for by their employers, have consistently higher levels of productivity than those who are experiencing poor mental wellbeing. Anxiety and stress contribute to inefficiency, distraction, and low motivation. Reputable and qualified workplace counselling services, such as those offered by Bristol Counselling and Psychotherapy, are a more affordable option when compared with ongoing loss of productivity.
Around 300,000 employees with long-term mental health issues become unemployed each year, which is a figure far greater than those without. This significant level of turnover contributes to the huge staffing costs businesses face annually, leading to the lengthy process of hiring and retraining new employees. Such a financial saving should serve as an incentive to all businesses.
Alternatively, businesses that do offer a workplace counselling service tend to have a higher level of staff morale, with employees enjoying a greater sense of value and, as a result, loyalty when at the workplace.
A leading issue with low staff morale and mental ill-health within the workplace is that it leads to alienation. This leads to employees feeling isolated from other workers as well as the business in general. Collaborations become more difficult as communication and motivation break down, often resulting in an even greater sense of detachment. While counselling is a private and confidential undertaking, it is one that benefits teams by strengthening individuals.