• Mental health issue biggest cause of being signed off – but employers more understanding

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    Following statistics released by the NHS that show one in three fit notes in the UK relates to mental health issues, Bupa, has welcomed a new attitude within the workplace, but claims more must be done.

    According to Bupa research, three in 10 (30%) people say that talking about mental health at work is less of a taboo now than it was 10 years ago. In addition, more than one in three (35%) feel more comfortable talking to their line manager about mental health than they would have done in the past – and 36 per cent of people say that workplace attitudes towards mental illness have improved. However, more than a quarter (27%) worry that discussing mental health issues in the workplace may affect their career prospects

    Patrick Watt, Corporate Director at Bupa UK commented: “It’s a real cause for concern that mental health is now the number one reason people are signed off work. We’re seeing a newfound openness where people feel more comfortable to talk about their mental health. And, many businesses give the mental health of their employees the same focus that they do for physical fitness. This is encouraging, however, we all need to do more to break down the stigma that can still exist.

    “The Government review into mental health practices in the workplace, led by Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer’s Review is due to be published this autumn and will shape how employers approach workplace wellbeing.

    “The workplace provides an ideal opportunity and culture to tackle this stigma, where mental health is openly talked about and employees have confidential help and support, when it’s needed, is key for all businesses – large and small.”