The Government’s New Strategy for Mental Health at Work
Written by Geoff Newman on 6/29/2010
The new mental health strategy introduced by the government aims to make sure that the workplace becomes more healthy and productive, while at the same time managing absences. Many employers and senior staff members of an organisation do not realize that increased stress levels are the major cause of ill health and other mental health issues, which employees face while working for an organisation. These mental health issues lead to major problems like decreased growth and productivity of the whole organisation.
According to the Mental Health at Work Strategy issued by the government, nearly 1 in every 6 individuals is affected by mental health problems at some point in their life. These mental health issues lead to claims made in this regard that cost the overall economy billions of pounds every year. To manage these issues, the government has come up with the Mental Health Strategy at Work so that such issues can be dealt with before hand.
The strategy aims at promoting mental health and the physical well being of individuals in the work place, because creating awareness about mental health issues should lead to better management of staff so that they don’t feel discriminated against or unfairly treated. Mental health issues within an organisation can be managed carefully while using sensible approaches and open communication. The strategy aims to provide the employers with suggestions to monitor and assess the mental capabilities of the employees, while using tactical management skills. The management staff responsible for dealing with mental health issues must be trained accordingly to ensure that they are aware of the situation and condition and can act in a sensible way at the same time to resolve those issues.
The key recommendations of the Mental Health Strategy introduced by the government include ensuring a better co-ordinated health and support structure, and a newly structured network of mental health co-ordinators must be established. The strategy also aimed at making ministers responsible for examining and accessing individuals who have mental health issues, and helping them to find work.
The Department of Health is entitled to support and give advice on mental health issues to different governmental and non-governmental departments and agencies. The government recommended introducing guidance regarding ‘Fit-note’, which means that it is not necessary for an individual to be completely fit before he returns back to work.
The strategy was introduced by the government because of a large increase in the number of mental health or ill health issues related to work and the work environment. Mental health is a major cause inability to work but certain steps must be taken to make sure that people having such problems are able to work and maintain their health at the same time.
It is the responsibility of the government to build links between different departments to ensure that the Mental Health at Work Strategy is able to run smoothly throughout the system. And it is a good way to make employers realize the need to deal with mental health issues in advance.