A report by the mental health charity Mind ‘Stress and Mental Health in the Workplace’ (www.mind.org.uk), revealed that less than one in every ten companies has in place a policy on mental health. The disturbing statistics in this report include 12.8 million working days lost to work-related stress alone, with 58% of workers complaining of employment related stress. When general stress and anxiety are included, the figure rises to 45 million days lost, and work is likely to be playing a part in that, and certainly will be affected.
Managers are often the first to spot signs of stress and mental ill health, and although they can be very supportive, they can find themselves out of their depth, and devoting disproportionate amounts of time, which they can ill afford to do. There are also legal implications if they go beyond their training and competence in trying to offer ‘counselling’.
There are a number of initiatives and strategies that can be implemented to promote positive mental health in the workplace, and the inclusion of a confidential counselling service should be part of an all round approach.
Significant benefits for clients can be achieved in 3-8 sessions of counselling; only the most severely disturbed clients appear to require long-term counselling help or referral to specialist services.
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