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05 Jun 2017

Employers should draw up a manifesto for mental health, says RedArc

Employers need to set out how they will support their employees´ mental health, according to medical services provider RedArc.

Christine Husbands, managing director of RedArc, welcomed the fact that all the major political parties promoted equality for mental and physical health in their manifestos for the General Election.

She added: “We believe that employers now need to follow suit in the way they treat employees who suffer with mental health conditions, such as anxiety, chronic depression, stress, PTSD & trauma, psychosis & schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.”

Employees without access to mental health support via their employers´ insurance have to navigate the NHS system, which can take some time. So there are clear benefits to having health and wellbeing strategies in place, supported by private medical insurance, employee assistance programmes (EAPs) or group risk policies.

Research from RedArc demonstrates how patients can recover to normal mood levels if their symptoms are nipped in the bud and not allowed to become progressively worse in the wait for treatment. The findings show that, with early-intervention programmes (usually via EAP, health insurance or group risk products):

- Eight out of ten patients saw a reduction in both their PHQ9 (Patient Health Questionnaire) and GAD7 (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) scores, equating to their condition improving;

- The average reduction in the score for both tests was over 50%; and

- 70% of patients recovered to normal mood levels within three to four months.

Husbands concluded: “Many employers simply don´t offer any support for staff with these conditions but they need to wake up and smell the coffee: employers really need to have a duty of care towards the people that work for them day-in day-out — it needs to become socially unacceptable for organisations to not care about the welfare and wellbeing of its staff. And if having a social conscience isn´t enough of a catalyst, then they should take action, if only to protect themselves against prolonged periods of staff absence.

“A little less conversation and a little more action is now required on the part of employers to make a significant difference to the mental health of staff — and a good first step would be in creating a business manifesto or pledge about what that looks like.”

Copyright © M2 Bespoke 2017

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