Schoen Clinic UK addresses the gap in workplace mental health as businesses face increasing pressure to manage productivity
Recent research by PWC has revealed mental health is a growing issue for employees in the UK with statistics revealing that a third of the UK’s workforce is compromised by issues like depression, anxiety or stress.
The survey also found two in five employees said they had taken time off work or reduced their responsibilities due to their health.
However, of those who had taken time off work for mental health reasons, 39% said they did not feel comfortable telling their employer about the issue. In addition to this nearly a quarter (23%), said they do not think their organisation takes employee wellbeing seriously.
Interestingly, the data on mental health in the workplace is correlating to the increase in patients paying for private healthcare to avoid long NHS waiting times – a figure which has jumped almost 40% since before the pandemic, according to PHIN.
Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at Schoen Clinic Chelsea, Dr James Woolley, explained he first began to see an increase in people coming to him with workplace-related mental health issues on a self-referral basis prior to the pandemic, but now seeing more of a partnership approach between the employer and employee when it comes to mental health.
Discussing whether it is ultimately a manager’s role to manage productivity in a company, he said: “Any good manager will see the link between productivity and the mental health of the workforce, keeping an eye on that and putting reasonable accommodations in place.” He goes on to say that mental health in the workplace is measurable and the kinds of issues which have an impact on productivity are things like absenteeism and even presenteeism where people turn up for work despite how they are feeling, resulting in poorer productivity.
The rise of home working during the pandemic has also had a sizeable impact on people’s mental health, with RSPH polls (2021) showing 67% feel less connected to their colleagues and 56% find it harder to switch off. However, only about a third of people (34%) feel like they have been offered support with their mental health from their employer.
With working from home set to continue for millions, recent data shows that NHS waiting lists across the UK are also listed as the highest ever on record, forcing many employees to take sick leave without access to vital treatment.
Reacting to the worrying rise in mental health disorders in the workplace, Schoen Clinic Chelsea offers bespoke workplace wellbeing support services to businesses, to keep employees productive and healthy. Offering leading mental health support, the benefits include reducing stress, anxiety and depression whilst boosting productivity and staff retention rates.
Unlike most private healthcare providers, Schoen Clinic’s world-leading experts work together in highly specialised multidisciplinary teams to ensure patients get an advanced level of clinical input throughout their treatment journey. The hospital group say this model is based on clinical research and proven outcome excellence.
Whether work is causing the health issue or aggravating it, research shows over half of employees express higher expectations for mental health support from their employer than before the pandemic, highlighting the need for businesses to go beyond the legal ‘Duty of Care’. This is particularly true in a climate where almost 14% of all sickness absence days in the UK are attributed to mental health conditions.
“The latest data from the Office for National Statistics forewarns of a mental health crisis likely to reverberate across the UK economy via the workforce,” says Chris Horlick, a senior advisor to Schoen Clinic UK Group and former Distribution Director for AXA Health, being responsible for all their corporate business.
He also mentions how businesses must approach employee mental health with the same business metrics as company profits. Chris notes “Businesses must apply the same rigour to mental health investment as they do to any other investment. Investing in the mental health of the workforce will lead to increased productivity and increased profitability.”
He spoke about the need to create robust mental health policies which value employees and ultimately strengthen the workforce, saying, “Using a preventative approach to mental health by partnering with a programme where individuals can gain quick access to clinicians, will be much more cost-effective than damage limitation tactics usually applied when a significant number of employees are already reducing working hours or taking further sick days due to anxiety or stress. A situation which could have been easily managed only a few months earlier through proactive mental health care.”
The Schoen Clinic Group has an international reputation for clinical excellence and is widely regarded as a global leader in treating anxiety, mood and eating disorders.
Dr James Woolley adds, “We understand that everyone who comes through our doors experiences mental health problems differently. That’s why our treatments are tailored to the needs of both our clients and their families and are always based on the latest clinical research.”
He continues, “We use a mixture of one-to-one and group therapies via our day treatment programmes, which we’ve found helps to get people experiencing stress and burnout back on their feet faster.
“In turn, this can save businesses money in the long run with less sickness absence taken, along with better staff retention rates. We know that the right mental health support and a fast resolution of issues can lead to a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.”