Blue Monday is here (20 January 2020), and it has been coined the ‘most depressing day of the year’. January can have a negative stigma attached to it, the weather isn’t particularly nice, the dark nights are dragging, and we might be feeling the financial pinch post-Christmas celebrations.
The “January blues” is very much a real condition, but luckily for most of us, tend to only last a few weeks. However, for people with other recognised mental health conditions such as depression, psychosis, anxiety, they can be affected beyond January, which may have a significant impact on their work-life.
Prevention is better than the cure
Instead of fixating on negatives associated with January, why not flip the first month of the year on its head and use it as an opportunity to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of your workforce?
For us, tackling stigmas associated with mental health should not just be treated by employers as a tick-box exercise and the well-known saying “prevention is better than the cure” could not be truer. Instead, our highly-experienced and empathetic Regulatory team spends valuable time meeting key members of the workforce across different levels of seniority to get to the heart of your organisation and understand high-risk areas. We then recommend we produce a bespoke report to include information such as:
– A comprehensive route map of your legal obligations as an employer relating to mental health;
– A diagnostic report outlining high-risk areas for your particular organisation/sector;
– Suggested initiatives to help improve mental health and well-being in the workplace, for dealing with both individual-employee needs and general business-wide incentives; and
– Advice about how to ensure policies are properly implemented and monitored.
Prosecutions relating to mental health in the workplace
The recent France Telecom suicide cases (link here), are a poignant reminder that high-profile prosecutions linked to the mental health of employees are a growing concern for businesses, and will become increasingly prevalent in the UK in the next few years. The potential consequences of failing to properly implement a robust mental health policy could not only apply to a company, but also to individual directors and HR managers. In addition to our suggested pro-active approach (outlined above), we can also help defend any claims relating to these issues. Please do get in touch.