David Cameron has announced this week that there will be a nationwide focus on mental health after a review by NHS England found that the current level of care is inadequate, the department is underfunded and that 3 in 4 people with mental health problems receive no help at all, something that leads to “thousands of tragic and unnecessary deaths”.
Improving Treatment and Helping Thousands Back to Work
The PM spoke of the stigma attached to mental health that still exists within the UK and how this, alongside poor care, can mean employees are unable to work. He has already spoken to the CEOs of some of the country’s biggest companies, including Royal Mail, Barclays and BT, implementing plans to make changes over the coming months and years.
Watch the Prime Minister’s discussion with the BBC below:
These proposals and changes will focus on helping those who suffer from mental health issues find employment and aid those currently in employment to maintain their current roles. An extra £1million will be given to the NHS so that mental and physical health will now have even more funding and resources, creating some much needed services throughout the UK.
According to recent stats, it is estimated that around 60% of people who suffer from mental health issues are unable to work. In comparison, only 20% of the general population is unemployed. Reports also revealed, millions of people are affected by mental health in England each year, accounting for more than a quarter of all ill health. That’s more than heart disease and cancer!
What Changes Will Be Made?
Difficulties that incur because of poor management of mental health are said to cost the UK economy around £105 billion per year. The following changes will be made to combat these:
• A minimum of 29,000 people who suffer from mental health conditions will be helped to find or maintain employment.
• £50million will be invested in programmes to help these people find work (evidence shows these schemes save £6,000 per person on average).
• Throughout the country, specially trained advisors will be placed at local job centres to work closely with anyone who may find gaining work tricky due to their mental health issues.
Let Howells Help Your Business
With the UK government making such an investment in mental health and employment, changes will soon be required elsewhere. Businesses will be encouraged to make developments too. Business costs could rise to implement these changes, however the long-term benefits will most likely outweigh the costs as the government believes the costs associated with current work absences will balance the books.
If you own a company and would like to learn more about mental health, employers’ responsibilities and duty of care, our experienced employment law solicitors will be happy to help. Call us today on 0808 178 2773 for more information.