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The rise in mental health problems among the UK young workforce

The rise in mental health problems among the UK young workforce, Business Health Matters

The mental health crisis has reached an alarming level among young workers in the United Kingdom. As the workforce becomes more competitive and demanding, a growing number of young professionals are experiencing stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues, as reported by the BBC this month. 

This not only has detrimental effects on individuals but also significantly impacts businesses and their overall productivity. It is imperative for business owners and team leaders to prioritise mental health awareness and implement workplace wellbeing strategies to support their employees effectively.

Factors such as job insecurity, long working hours, intense competition, and the blurring boundaries between work and personal life have contributed to increased stress levels. According to recent surveys, nearly 70% of young workers have experienced symptoms of poor mental health, including anxiety, depression, and burnout.

The repercussions of this are not limited to individuals alone but extend to businesses as well. Ignoring the rise can result in decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, higher staff turnover, and a decline in overall employee morale. It can also lead to an increase in workplace conflicts, reduced creativity and innovation, and ultimately hamper the growth and success of a business.

Business owners and team leaders play a crucial role in shaping the work environment and supporting their employees’ wellbeing. By increasing their awareness of mental health issues, they can create a culture of understanding, empathy, and support within the workplace. Recognising the signs of poor mental health and providing appropriate resources can help young workers feel valued and supported, fostering a positive and productive work environment.

Implementing a Workplace Wellbeing Strategy

To address the issue, businesses need to adopt a proactive approach by implementing a workplace wellbeing strategy. Such a strategy should include the following elements:

  • Mental Health Education: Provide comprehensive training to managers and supervisors to enhance their understanding of mental health issues and equip them with the skills to support employees effectively.
  • Create a Supportive Environment: Foster an open and inclusive culture where employees feel safe discussing their mental health concerns. Encourage open communication, establish confidential channels for seeking help, and reduce stigma associated with mental health.
  • Flexible Working Arrangements: Offer flexible working options such as remote work or flexible hours to help employees achieve a better work-life balance and reduce stress levels.
  • Employee Assistance Programs: Collaborate with mental health professionals to provide access to confidential counselling services and resources for employees who may be struggling with mental health issues.
  • Promote Work-Life Balance: Encourage employees to take breaks, use their annual leave, and engage in activities that promote physical and mental wellbeing outside of work. Implementing work-life balance policies and encouraging healthy work habits can significantly reduce stress levels.
  • Regular Check-ins: Conduct regular one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss their workload, challenges, and overall wellbeing. These conversations can help identify and address issues early on and provide necessary support.

By increasing mental health awareness and implementing a workplace wellbeing strategy, businesses can create an environment that supports employees’ mental wellbeing. Our unique Workplace Wellbeing Programme has been designed to support Lancashire businesses on their wellbeing journey, simply get in touch to see how we can help you, your team and your business.