Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today (Friday 3 June) launched an updated guide for managers on how to promote mental health and well-being in the workplace. 'Mental health and well-being: A line manager's guide' (see attached pdf) was produced in collaboration with See Change, the national mental health stigma reduction partnership. It stresses that early intervention is key and that line managers and colleagues are crucial to promoting a culture that is positive towards mental health.
Research carried out for See Change, revealed that while seven out of 10 workers strongly agreed anyone could develop a mental health problem, 48% would deliberately conceal a diagnosis from colleagues. Concerns surrounded the fear that being open about a mental health problem at work would have a negative impact on job and career prospects or on their relationship with colleagues.
At a briefing at Ibec today, the organisation outlined how mental ill-health is costing individuals, organisations and society dearly with direct costs estimated at €3 billion or 2% of GNP annually. These costs include loss of potential labour supply, absenteeism, presenteeism, reduced productivity and decreased retention. Speakers at the event included Minister of State for Mental Health Helen McEntee TD and Director of Aware Dr Claire Hayes. A panel discussion with employers, including Simon Hand, Vodafone; Catherine Fitzgibbon, Core Media; and Henry Healy, Barack Obama Plaza, looked at practical suggestions for promoting wellbeing in the workplaces.
Ibec Senior Policy Executive Dr Kara McGann said: "The awareness and understanding of mental health has improved, but there is still concern from individuals around disclosing their mental health difficulty in the workplace. In the run-up to the election, both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil both committed to enacting A Vision for Change, Ireland’s 2006 mental health recommendation report. Now that a government is in place it is vital that steps are taken to fully implement it.
Minister of State for Mental Health Helen McEntee TD said: "Fundamental to our progress in this area is our attitude to our mental health in general. While we have come a long way in a short space of time, in order to further reduce stigma in the work place, we need to start thinking about our mental health in the same way we do our physical health. It needs to become a common conversation among colleagues."
- Ibec mental health and wellbeing guide.pdf - 799 Kbytes