“Is there a link between mental health and the nation's productivity?” is a question that Prince Harry asked the nation to think about when speaking to the BBC.
They talk about a situation that a man called Russell Stillwell found himself in. Having his best friend pass away, followed by Russell’s biggest client going bust whilst owing his business £150,000, then having his father pass away shortly after that, meant that Russell was not in a good mental state.
He told the BBC that "Getting up in the morning was becoming hard, being reasonable was becoming hard". His emotional and financial stress had caused him to start drinking and made him physically ill.
However, Russell’s family had insisted that he seek help, which has led to him feeling better than ever, and has even put his business back on its feet!
With this, Russell has begun to put measures in place to improve his employees' mental health. He has made an investment in new technology that he believes will reduce stress in the workplace. The technology involves lasers that stop the need for workers to be on step ladders with tape measures, and they create "clarity through their accuracy”.
As well as his financial investments into technology, Russell has invested his time and efforts into a charity called Mates in Mind, which encourages construction workers to open up about their feelings. Russell claims that we "can reduce the macho culture that exists and mitigate the amount of mental health and wellbeing issues that exist in our industry".
An Increase in Productivity
As Harry’s mental health talk continued, he began to address the business-positives that come with improved organisational mental health.
Economists claim that productivity is Britain’s biggest economic challenge - even coming in before Brexit.
Harry says that productivity comes hand-in-hand with positive mental health. “Productivity will improve by focusing on the wellbeing of our people and our people knowing their wellbeing is at the forefront of our culture”.
For a better way of life, we, as a nation, need to improve our productivity so that we can improve our lifestyles. We want to become a wealthier nation and see an increase in wages, and Prince Harry believes that improving mental health is a great way to achieve this goal.
Earlier this year, a government-commissioned review found that about 15% of people at work currently show symptoms of a mental health condition.
This is a huge percentage of the working population and it is suspected to cost the economy between £74 billion and £99 billion per year!
Investing in Mental Health
Over 300,000 workers per year lose their jobs because of a mental health condition. But why should these people, who may not necessarily be receiving support from their workplace, lose their jobs when small investments could be made to increase their productivity?
"By looking after employee's mental wellbeing, staff morale and loyalty, innovation, productivity and profits will rise." says Emma Mamo, the Head of Workplace Wellbeing at the charity Mind.
As an employer, you have a legal duty to fill out a risk assessment form and act on it to protect employees from stress at work.
Research shows that for every £1 invested into mental health at work returns £4.20 from increased productivity. This should encourage businesses to start paying attention to their staff’s mental health because it is extremely beneficial for both parties.
Additionally, research suggests that a 1% increase in happiness returns an additional 0.5% increase in productivity.
Mental Health Awareness Training
Here at iHasco, we’ve begun to develop a Mental Health Awareness Training course, which is designed for everyone.
The course introduces mental health and raises awareness about removing the stigma. It covers poor mental health and how it should be managed.
The course also contains our Wellbeing Toolkit. This offers a variety of exercises and strategies that can be used to suit your needs.