Proactive vs Reactive

Stress and mental health problems are common with 1 in 6 employees likely to experience problems with stress, anxiety and depression at any one time. You are probably working with someone with a mental health problem.

The financial cost to UK businesses currently stands at £30.3 billion per year, equating to £1206 per employee. These costs can be broken down into absenteeism, presenteeism/loss of output, legal and temporary staff costs.

With this in mind, it is important that companies are proactive when it comes to stress and mental well-being and invest in both prevention and early identification of issues. Through my work, I have encountered many companies who would only look to invest in employee well-being once an issue had already occurred, causing both the individual and business to suffer. Why is this the case when it is proven that simple steps to improve the management of mental well-being in the workplace would enable employers to save 30% or more of current mental well-being related costs?

One thing we know for certain is that prevention is better than cure, and with most things, the earlier you identify the problem, the quicker the recovery will be. The more we know about stress and mental well-being and the more we are willing to talk about these issues, the more proactive and better we will be at preventing issues, intervening early and being able to support people effectively. Thus resulting in more productive and engaged workforces where employees can thrive.

Katie attended the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy where she set up Altruist in 2013. Since then, Katie has won various awards including Birmingham Mail's Young Achiever of the Year 2017, New Entrepreneurs Foundation 'Future Face of Business' and Entrepreneurial Spark's 'Most Accelerated Business'. She has also been a finalist in nine other award categories and in 2014, Katie was invited to attend the prestigious 'Women of the Year Lunch' in honour of her work raising awareness and reducing the stigma attached to mental health.

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