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Why Bupa signed up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment
24 October 2019
At Bupa, we recognise that mental health is just as important as physical health and we are committed to helping people to feel better and stay well, both in and out of the workplace. However, while some progress has been made, we know that there is still some unnecessary stigma around mental health and how it is discussed and addressed. Within the workplace alone, 49% of employees still don’t feel comfortable talking to their line manager about their own mental health.
We know that work itself can impact on people’s mental health. In fact, 39% of employees said that work had contributed to their mental health condition over the last 12 months. With one in four people experiencing a mental health problem in any given year, it’s likely that we all have colleagues who may be struggling, and employers have a responsibility to support them. Clearly there is a growing need to support mental health in the workplace.
That’s why, this week, Bupa signed The Mental Health at Work Commitment alongside 30 other big employers. This agreement promises to improve the standards of mental wellbeing among the workforce and to try and agree a common approach. At Bupa, we want to support initiatives like this that provide meaningful, practical support to people.
As part of this commitment we have agreed to adopt six standards that will help us prioritise mental health in the workplace, create an environment where our people can thrive and make tools and support available for those who may be experiencing difficulties. Together, we need to do more to reduce the number of people who are living with mental health challenges and ensure that those who are struggling get support when they need it. If more employers acknowledged their responsibility and signed up to this commitment, it could make a real difference to millions of people’s lives and help them to thrive and succeed at work.
This in turn may also have a positive effect on the economy. The independent Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers, ‘Thriving at Work’, found that 300,000 people lose their jobs every year because of a long-term mental health problem. This results in an annual cost of up to £99 billion per year for the economy and £42 billion directly to employers.
We are passionate about making Bupa a place where people can be open about any mental health challenges and get support if they need it. We walk the talk for our own people and actively nurture an open culture called ‘Be you at Bupa’ where people are free to be their true selves. We’ve also invested in mental health training, awareness and online resources and provide confidential support and therapy for those who might need it. And for our corporate customers we can provide access to an employee assistance programme that provides 24/7 confidential wellbeing and mental health support.
We look forward to building on this further through The Mental Health at Work Commitment. We want to encourage employers of all sizes to join the movement to improve standards of mental health care at work. Learn more: www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/commitment
Become a member
Our members include over 200 of the capital’s leading employers across a wide range of sectors, with a common commitment to our capital.