Businesses urged to break mental health stigma

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Health Assured team

05 April 2017

One in four people will experience a mental health problem   Businesses are being urged to break the stigma of discussing mental health at work to mark Stress Awareness Month in April. Figures show one in four people in the UK, will experience a mental health problem in any given year.   Recent research suggests fewer than 10% of employees who have experienced depression, unacceptably high levels of pressure or anger feel able to talk to their manager or superior about it, while 20% felt they could not talk to anyone.   Employees need to be encouraged to talk about mental health issues in the same way they would a physical health problem. This will only be achieved through health and wellbeing strategies which are open, inclusive and flexible.   Excerpt from Health Insurance Daily, read the full article here.   Health Assured and the wider Peninsula Group joined the growing number of companies committing to end the stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems by signing a pledge with Time to Change, which is a programme run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.   The signing ceremony took place at our head office with Alan Price (Peninsula Group Operations Director) and David Price (Health Assured Chief Executive) pledging support to Time to Change, promoting a better understanding of mental health problems while offering support and welfare advice.   Alan Price, Group Operations Director of Peninsula, said; “One in four people have a mental health problem so it’s essential that, as a company, we learn to understand and recognise the needs of our employees. By joining the Time to Change Campaign we will work to challenge the stigma and discrimination often experienced by those with mental health problems by encouraging positive attitudes towards mental health. This pledge is integral to our commitment to fairness in employment and to our social responsibility towards the promotion of health and wellbeing.”   Good mental health and proper support for those with mental illness has been a priority for Peninsula for some time now. They offer a range of services to promote mental wellbeing to their employees, including a Staff Counsellor, and a comprehensive Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which is provided Health Assured who teamed up with Peninsula on the pledge.   David Price, Chief Executive at Health Assured, said; “There are common misunderstandings about the nature of mental health issues. The stigma can lead individuals not to seek help that is available; and for others to underestimate the capability of people with mental health issues to manage their condition and perform well with appropriate help and support. By signing the Time to Change pledge Peninsula can not only to encourage their staff to seek help without fear of stigma, but also to increase awareness of mental health issues more generally. Throughout 2016 23% of all calls received by Health Assured were related to mental health, of these calls 45% represented people suffering with anxiety and 27% depression. Of all the mental health cases opened in 2016 61% were male with 39% female.”

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