HSE’s Working Minds campaign promotes good mental health at work

Work-related stress and poor mental health risk becoming a health and safety crisis, HSE has warned. Mental health issues are the number one reason given for sick days in the UK. Last year, more than 17 million working days were lost as a result of stress, anxiety, or depression. A recent survey by the charity Mind suggests that two in five employees’ mental health had worsened during the pandemic.

In response, HSE’s new campaign Working Minds looks at issues relating to health at work. The campaign aims to help businesses recognise the signs of work-related stress and make tackling issues routine.

Working Minds is aimed at the 6 million workers in small businesses, but HSE is calling for a culture change across Britain’s workplaces to ensure that psychological risks are treated the same as physical ones.

Chief executive Sarah Albon says: “Work-related stress and poor mental health should be treated with the same significance as risks of poor physical health and injury. In terms of the effect it has on workers, significant and long-term stress can limit performance and impact personal lives.

“No worker should suffer in silence and if we don’t act now to improve workers’ mental health, this could evolve into a health and safety crisis.”

HSE is reminding business that no matter where people work, employers have a legal duty to assess the risks in the workplace, not just in terms of potential hazards and physical safety. They should also promote good working practices. It says this promotes an open environment where employees can share their concerns and discuss options to ease pressures.

Sarah Albon added: “Our campaign is focused on giving employers a clear reminder of their duties while championing reducing work-related stress and promoting good mental health at work.”

Working Minds provides employers and workers with easy-to-implement advice, including its 5Rs, simple steps to Reach out, Recognise, Respond, Reflect, and make it Routine.

Find out more at: workright.campaign.gov.uk/campaigns/workingminds

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