In January 2017, the Prime Minister asked for an independent review into how employers can support people with mental health conditions. The newly published Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers, Thriving at Work, shows over 300,000 people lose their jobs each year due to mental ill-health, which can cost employers up to £42 billion each year. In response, the Prime Minister has asked NHS England and the Civil Service to implement recommendations of the report ensuring that more than two million public sector workers receive mental health support.
Responding to the publication of the report, Kathy Roberts, Chief Executive of Association of Mental Health Providers, commented:
“We welcome this report on mental health and employment, which adds to the mounting evidence that there is still a long way to go to get true parity. Although great strides have been made towards better equality and rights for people experiencing mental ill-health, mental health still remains one of the greatest causes of sickness absenteeism. Negative work environments can have a detrimental effect on our mental and physical health and even small improvements can make a real difference to the people we work with.
“We must challenge the stigma that assumes people with mental health needs cannot work or contribute to successful organisations. We need to continue to argue that support to work must be an integral part of all mental health treatment care and support. The report shows that over 300,000 people lose their jobs each year due to mental health needs, costing employers up £42 billion annually – this is not acceptable, there isn’t just a moral case for mentally healthy workplaces, but also an economic case. We must reaffirm our commitment to continue to work together to achieve better mental health and wellbeing for all.”