HSE International ISSUE 109 - Page 30

MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING FOCUS THE LATEST STATISTICS The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a national survey run by the Office for National Statistics. Currently around 37,000 households are surveyed each quarter. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) commissions annual questions in The Labour Force Survey to gain a view of self-reported workrelated illness and workplace injury based on individuals’ perceptions. The analysis and interpretation of the data are the sole responsibility of HSE. Announced by the Health & Safety Executive on 1 November, the latest statistics reveal that in 2016/17, 1.3 million workers were suffering from work related ill-health and there were 609,000 workplace injuries. 31.2 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries, costing Britain £14.9 billion. For the first time, stress, depression or anxiety accounted for the most days lost due to work-related ill health (49%). The total number of cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17 was 526,000 (1,610 per 100,000 workers). 236 thousand were new cases (720 per 100,000 workers), up 4.3% since 2015/16 (690 per 100,000 workers). In 2014/15, a total of 488,000 cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety were reported, thus signifying an increase of 7% since this period. Sitting at the highest rate for at least the past decade, work related stress, depression or anxiety now overshadows days lost due to musculoskeletal disorders (507,000 cases in 2016/17 or 1,550 cases per 100,000 workers). Over the three-year period (2014/15-2016/17), the average prevalence rate for work-related stress, depression or anxiety across all industries was 1,230 cases per 100,000 workers. Statistically, small workplaces had considerably lower rates of work-related stress, whilst medium and large workplaces had significantly higher rates: • Small (less than 50 employees) - 970 cases • Medium (50-249 employees) - 1,430 cases • Large (250+ employees) - 1,770 cases The average prevalence rate for males was 1,170 cases, with 1,880 cases for females per 100,000 workers. UNDERSTANDING STIGMA It can be difficult for people to open up about mental health and wellbeing issues - it can leave a person feeling vulnerable and open to being made more upset. Particularly at work, people don’t want to seem incapable or unprofessional, and the stigma attached to mental ill health it makes it even harder to spot in the workplace. However, the stigma associated with mental health isn’t just limited to the workplace. According to Mark Winwood, Mental Health expert and Director of Psychological Services at AXA PPP Healthcare: “You need to think about stigma in three ways: “There’s self-stigma - negative associations that we carry round when we believe we will be looked at negatively if we disclose that we’re experiencing any difficulty. “Then there’s societal stigma - labels that society gives to individuals experiencing mental health concerns; we get this from the way mental health is spoken about on TV and/ or in the media. “Then there’s institutional stigma - which can stem from an organisation’s treatment of individuals with mental health concerns or is indicated in the way the state provides less funding to mental health services than physical health services; these behaviours are stigmatising.” Look at a bigger picture, it’s not difficult to understand why somebody dealing with mental health issues might be afraid to come forward and seek help from their boss. WELLNESS BENEFITS Employers and managers who implement workplace initiatives to promote mental health and wellness, and who support employees who have mental disorders see gains, not only in the health of their employees, but also in their productivity at work. People that feel good about themselves often work more efficiently, interact well with colleagues and make a valuable contribution to the workplace. Healthy and motivated workers are more likely to ‘go that extra mile’ - giving good customer service, taking fewer sick days and providing commitment and creativity. IN CONCLUSION The importance of an increasing emphasis on health and wellbeing is reflected by an estimated 1.3 million workers suffering from a work-related illness (new or long standing) in 2016/17. More specifically, work-related stress, depression or anxiety caused 40% of work-related ill health and 49% of working days lost in 2016/17, and continues to represent a significant ill health condition in the workforce of Great Britain. It is clear that mental ill health lies at the heart of some of our greatest social challenges. Employers, their staff, organisations and individuals must take steps to promote positive mental health and support those experiencing mental ill health and wellbeing concerns. Through openness in conversation and compassion, we can make a difference in improving health and wellbeing, for ourselves and each other. 30 HSE INTERNATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING FOCUS THE LATEST STATISTICS The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a national survey run by the Office for National Statistics. Currently around 37,000 households are surveyed each quarter. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) commissions annual questions in The Labour Force Survey to gain a view of self-reported work- related illness and workplace injury based on individuals’ perceptions. The analysis and interpretation of the data are the sole responsibility of HSE. Announced by the Health & Safety Executive on 1 November, the latest statistics reveal that in 2016/17, 1.3 million workers were suffering from work related ill-health and there were 609,000 workplace injuries. 31.2 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries, costing Britain £14.9 billion. For the first time, stress, depression or anxiety accounted for the most days lost due to work-related ill health (49%). The total number of cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17 was 526,000 (1,610 per 100,000 workers). 236 thousand were new cases (720 per 100,000 workers), up 4.3% since 2015/16 (690 per 100,000 workers). In 2014/15, a total of 488,000 cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety were reported, thus signifying an increase of 7% since this period. Sitting at the highest rate for at least the past decade, work related stress, depression or anxiety now overshadows days lost due to musculoskeletal disorders (507,000 cases in 2016/17 or 1,550 cases per 100,000 workers). 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