Mental health is relevant to us all. If workplaces are conducive to mental health and wellbeing (and, indeed, actively promote it), then problems may be addressed before they surface in a material way. By focusing on health and not illness, we are better positioned to both prevent and address problems during ‘business as usual’ activities.
By employing people with a mental illness, you are not only acknowledging their ability, but you are also supporting their recovery and injecting new viewpoints into your organisation. By having the structures in place to support people with their mental illness you will also be supporting the mental health and wellbeing of all members of staff by changing the culture of your organisation to one that is supportive and inclusive and more representative of the wider community.
The benefits of mentally healthy workplaces are many; all-round individual resilience is enhanced, the stigma surrounding mental illness can be dispelled, early warning signs spotted and early intervention and helpseeking can be sought. Team cohesion is often stronger and individuals perform at a higher level when the myths of mental illness are dispelled and practical support processes are established. In addition, the financial health of a business can be improved through this process with a reduction in absenteeism, faster return to work following illness, a reduction in staff turnover and greater employee engagement.
We recognise that employers need the confidence that comes with a thorough knowledge of the facts regarding mental health to improve the recruitment and retention of people with a mental illness. As such, our aim is to help educate employers and make them more ‘mental health literate’ through the sharing of knowledge, training and support to help them become more open to inclusive recruiting practices.