Notes for employer awareness of the cost of poor mental health in the workplace:
To set the scale in perspective – the World Health Organisation’s evidence based scale says that mental illness is the largest single illness of people of working age, and as big as all other illnesses put together… as big as back pain, cancer, diabetes – everything – all physical conditions put together…. Extraordinary.
Half of all days off sick are due to mental illness. Richard Layard of the London School of Economics tells us that he attended the DAVOS ‘Workplace and Wellbeing Alliance’ meeting in January of 2013, which was a 90 minute seminar by and for sixty of the worlds largest and most enlightened companies – yet it was only in the 85th minute that mental health was mentioned! All of the time had gone to discussing cancer and aging and diabetes and lung conditions and so on. Nobody wanted to discuss mental health, but the cost is huge. On all levels. Again, extraordinary.
(UPDATE, January 2014 – Mental Health has been a key feature of this years DAVOS)
Another issue currently being measured in group studies is ‘presenteeism’ – which is when the employee is in work, not absent, but is underperforming (and/or negatively performing and affecting others) as their mind is elsewhere with mental health issues. This is thought to be a large number and climbing.
Another statistic that reinforces these official stats is that half of all disability benefits are due to mental illness…
BBC News: DAVOS 2014 – ‘OECD highlights mental health in workplace‘ (text & video of an interview with the Sec Gen)
Accessible science and data through visuals: upskill your ‘stress in the workplace’ information by checking out this infographic on work related disorder stats. It was created by the Eastern Kentucky University’s Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety program, and is such extensive research it could reasonably apply to any Western country…
“Promoting employee health and welfare, tackling the issues surrounding stress in the workplace and management training for handling absenteeism, should assist in reducing absenteeism.” Avine McNally, Small Firms Assoc
“.. proactive measures by employers, such as holding return-to-work interviews as well as employee health and well-being supports, could help reduce absenteeism further.” Brendan Butler, IBEC
Kings College London peer reviewed paper:
We report, for the first time in the literature, a cognitive-behavioural training waiting-list controlled study that changed employees’ attributional style, reduced turnover, increased productivity, and improved a number of individual differences measures of well-being. One hundred and sixty-six financial services sales agents (98% male, mean age 36.2 +/- 9 years) were randomly assigned to either (a) a seven-week cognitive-behavioural training program or (b) a waiting-list. Significant improvements resulted in employees’ attributional style, job satisfaction, self-esteem, psychological well-being and general productivity. A significant reduction in employee turnover over a 4.5 month period was observed. The waiting-list Control group replicated these results When they subsequently went through the same program. These findings demonstrate that work-related attitudes and behaviours, especially in motivationally challenging Occupations, can be changed with cognitive-behavioural training to improve attributional style. The Study is also valuable for personality and Individual differences research because it shows how psychological variables can be changed by effective intervention in applied settings. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
We now have solutions to help tackle the problem of absenteeism and presenteeism by teaching trainees the theory and application of modern psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) – as recommended by the London School of Economics and Kings College London among others.
So… it’s time to act. Check out my cogsci seminar and workshop training options …
The workshops … enjoyable training in how to understand and strengthen emotional health – no ‘group therapy’, no stigma – just very practical new coping skills for everyday life. This is classic personal development training with a modern edge. It’s a fun and fascinating ‘learning by discovery’ experiential workshop that teaches the ‘new science of thinking and feeling and behaving‘ using the CBT psycho-educational model. The CBTandFeelingGood evaluation sheets are overwhelmingly and enthusiastically positive. Trainees report a positive change in attitude and thinking and behaviour, and stronger emotional health and wellbeing… Call to request sample evaluations / testimonials.
Format options: (On site or off site. All counties in Ireland. Go to my Workshops web page for pricing)
What type of people is it for? Everybody actually! Some people cope with adverse situations better than others – but whether this training is :
- simply great tools to help somebody who has good coping skills to do even better in life(particularly in communications and understanding and managing challenging people)
- or proactive and preventative to stop somebody heading down an emotional cul de sac
- or reactive and curative to help those already suffering with a stress disorder
– well it really doesn’t matter – everybody can benefit from it. Learning to understand and take care of our emotional health is as important as taking care of our physical or nutritional health – maybe more important! This learning also teaches us better understanding and acceptance of other people and their behaviours, and how to communicate more effectively. In short, CBT teaches us new skills in self management, new coping skills, that help us stay calm and feel good and have constructive and productive behaviours no matter what life throws at us.NOTE: CBT & Feeling Good approved Training Programmes and Trainers were accredited and approved for placement on the FAS and Enterprise Ireland National Register of Trainers. (Registration # 903680.) In full compliance with the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999. Fully accredited and insured.
Links to reports and articles:
‘Companies on the Couch’, my article for the Dublin City Enterprise Board: LINK
11 million days lost to absenteeism in Ireland / €1.5bn a year, or €818 per employee, say IBEC: LINK
Absenteeism costs small businesses 536m a year, say Small Firms Assoc (SFA) Ireland LINK
Irish Medical Times: The Economic & Social cost of mental illness in Ireland LINK
Irish Times: Mental Illness Exacerbated by Recession: LINK
London School of Economics Layard lecture: Mental Health: The New Frontier for the Welfare State: LINK
CBT to boost workplace performance (Kings College London): LINK
Using CBT to tackle work related stress LINK:
CBT explains what is happening around life’s stressors and anxiety – it teaches you to ‘think about thinking, and gives you practical methods and techniques to change dysfunctional and unhealthy thinking and behaviours… it will give you a mental toolbox to effectively become your own therapist.
CBT and Feeling Good train individuals and employee groups in how to use CBT to develop new smart coping skills to deal with life stress and anxiety – promoting psychological health and wellbeing through education.
How You Benefit
• Change how you think & what you do
• Decrease/manage incidences of stress/anxiety
• Decrease self-limiting/sabotaging behaviours
• Understand/manage the physiology of stress
• Improve self-image & confidence
• Improve social skills & interactions…
MD: Veronica Walsh
A: Camden House, 7 Upper Camden Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
T: 086 8113031
NOTE – We do not recommend our workshops as a replacement for professional mental health treatment by your GP or another recommended expert if you have serious emotional difficulties.