IoD calls for ‘a little more conversation’ around mental health

Businesses increasingly recognise that their employee’s mental wellbeing is just as important as their physical health, but more support is needed.

The IoD has launched a mental health in the workplace campaign, with the publication of the report A little more conversation. A new survey shows that 54% of IoD members have been approached by staff suffering mental ill health. Yet just 14% have a formal mental health policy in place and fewer than one in five offer line management training.

Poor mental health costs the UK some 5 per cent of GDP. Increasing awareness of mental health across the business community could therefore play a key role in addressing Britain’s ‘productivity puzzle’.

The report proposes:

  • Large firms to consider giving a non-executive board member specific responsibility for ensuring mental health awareness and training is integrated across businesses.
  • The Government to trial a training scheme for small business owners to help them develop mental health policies.
  • The Government to make greater efforts to communicate existing schemes, such as Time to Change, to a wider range of businesses.

In a foreword to the report, His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge, writes, ‘I am delighted that organisations representing large numbers of businesses, such as the Institute of Directors, are starting these conversations and supporting their members, employees, and the wider business community through it.’