Time to take mental health seriously


Time to take mental health seriously

Prospect has welcomed a new report looking into the impact of mental health in the workplace – but urged the government to show leadership in tackling the problem.

stethoscope and medical form

Around 300,000 people a year are leaving their jobs due to mental illness, according to the report, with a cost to the UK economy of between £74 billion and £99 billion.

Prospect has been campaigning for better mental health provision and measures to tackle workplace stress for a number of years.

The Prime Minister has already confirmed that NHS England and the Civil Service will be expected to sign up to the recommendations of the report.

Whilst Prospect welcomes this move, we have made clear that responding to mental health issues must be done alongside dealing with austerity, increasing workloads and workplace stress.

Responding to the report Garry Graham, deputy general secretary, said:

“We are already engaging with many employers on this issue and it has been a key priority for Prospect. Providing staff with the confidence to talk about mental health in the workplace is a crucial first step in providing staff with the help and support that they need.

“Prospect has and will continue to engage centrally and at departmental levels in the civil service on this initiative. We have valuable experience to share and staff trust us.

“But this cannot be an alternative to dealing with the funding issues facing the civil services or with responding to the aggravating factors in the increase of mental health, such as increased workloads, long hours working and work-related stress.”

The independent report, by Lord Stevenson and former CEO of Mind Paul Farmer, can be viewed on the government website.