Saturday 10th October 2020 marked World Mental Health day – a day set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to promote mental health support and awareness globally. One in four people suffers with a mental health disorder during their life, with approximately 450 million people currently affected in 2020. Mental health disorders are one of the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide.
Mental health issues can’t be left at the front door and can have a significant impact on productivity and absenteeism. The WHO estimates that depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity per annum. In the UK, 70 million working days are lost each year due to mental health issues, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year, and the UK economy between £70 to £100 billion per year.
In the midst of the COVID-19 global health crisis, leaders are justifiably focussed on the here and now. But there’s a looming mental health crisis that is only beginning to emerge as a result of global quarantines, and a sudden widespread shift towards home-working – a move that is leading 80% of employees in the UK to feel that their mental health has been negatively impacted. A global survey of more than 2,700 employees found that 75% feel more socially isolated as a result of the coronavirus, with 67% experiencing higher stress levels, 57% feeling more anxious, and 53% dealing with greater emotional exhaustion. With UK employees also working 2 to 3 hours longer per day than they did before the government made the call to work from home – combined with uncertainty over global health crisis showing no signs of relenting – the risk of burnout and mental illness is forecast to grow.
What will your organisation leaders do to build mental health resilience in leaders and teams in a world in crisis?
3Pillars believe in building three aspects simultaneously to build resilience. Support your team to be physically healthy, build team ethos and create an environment to be mentally healthy.
One of the most important popular methods we have found organisations want to equip employees with key mental health and wellbeing tools is by providing accredited courses in Mental Health First Aid (MFHA). These courses teach people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. They support people to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and potentially, stop a crisis from happening. Central to this training is recognising warning signs of ill mental health and developing the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping yourself safe.
At 3Pillars, we provide MHFA training to enable organisations to create a qualified pool of Mental Health First Aiders and Mental Health Champions. We cover all topics from depression and anxiety, to bipolar disorder and suicidal crisis. We train people to spot the early signs of a mental health problem and feel confident in supporting those who experience them. We train you to provide help on a first aid basis, prevent people from causing physical harm to themselves, prevent mental illness from becoming worse, and support others’ recovery.
Empowering someone to access the support they might need for recovery or successfully managing symptoms is powerful. This can include accessing self-help books or websites, accessing therapy services through their GP, their place of work, online self-referral, support groups, and more. At the centre of what we do is gaining an understanding of how to support positive wellbeing and tackle stigma in the world around you.
“I’m so pleased my company act on things like mental healthcare. I was diagnosed last year with Bipolar Type 2 Disorder, and didn’t feel as actively supported by my old company as I do here! Thank you for all you do!” – 3Pillars Mental Health First Aid course participant.