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Prestige News

Recession increases mental health problems

Acas has published a report urging businesses to put in place plans to deal with the inevitable rise in employee-related mental health problems caused by the recession. The long term effects of the financial downturn will certainly include a rise in workplace stress, which already costs UK organisations around £26 billion each year. Although some analysts believe the worst of the recession has been experienced the impact on workforces throughout the country is expected to be felt far into the future. With the latest figures also revealing that the total number of unemployed has now reached 2.47 million, employees' wellbeing is expected to be damaged even further.
Ed Sweeney, Acas Chair, says, "Implementing procedures to effectively deal with mental health issues in the workplace has strong benefits for individuals and organisations. Early intervention can play a critical part in reducing the problem of ill health at work and this 'prevention over cure' approach will ultimately help businesses and employees save time, stress and money." Suggested procedures include:
•    Training - to raise awareness of stress and mental health so that line managers, in particular, can tell if an employee is suffering from additional or excessive pressures
•    Good interpersonal skills -  to help nurture trusting relationships with staff who may be anxious about disclosing their mental health problems
•    A supportive organisational structure - that guides managers by providing clear policies and procedures for managing mental health


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