Employers 'must take mental health seriously'

by Gemma Roskell

Employers need to take the mental wellbeing of their staff seriously in order to retain talent, it has been argued.

Andy Bell, deputy chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health, said that "by and large" employers do not know how to handle the issue.

"Very often it is not talked about and awareness of what depression is is very low," he explained.

"There is a general lack of awareness of how common it is, and therefore many of the more simple things you can do to address depression in the workplace."

Mr Bell pointed out that one person in six will suffer from depression or anxiety at some point this year.

For employers, tackling the problem is about ensuring that line managers have the necessary skills and knowledge to identify signs of mental illness and provide the right kind of support, he said.

A recent survey by Turning Point revealed that three-quarter of people in the UK experience depression either regularly or occasionally, but only one-third of these seek help.

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Published on: September 3, 2010

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