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Mental Health, Leave & Absence: How to connect to the challenges

12 October 2022 3 min read

Portrait of handsome bearded man using laptop while sitting at desk in home interior decorated with houseplants, copy space

Mental Health, Leave & Absence: How to connect to the challenges

World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a great reason to get everyone talking about the subject. Which as we know, is becoming of more and more importance. It’s a great time to shine a light on mental wellbeing, to try and break down some of the taboo surrounding it, and to encourage people to look after themselves and seek any help they may need. 

Within the world of work, there are still a number of challenges we must address. Understanding the topic, learning how it relates to absence, and starting to question what we can do to support our teams. 

We were delighted to be joined by Matt Holman on our webinar “Mental Health, Leave & Absence: How to connect to the challenges”. On this webinar, we covered work absence, understanding the data, understanding mental wellbeing, and what we can do. 

Matt Holma mental health webinar

Watch the webinar on demand 

Mental health and work absence statistics 

  • 1 in 6 workers are experiencing a mental health issue 
  • 50% of all absenteeism at work relates to these challenges 
  • 52% of workers are experiencing symptoms of burnout 
  • Mental health costs to employers amounting to £56 billion a year 

Current edays data shows: 

  • Currently only 12.1% of companies are recording mental wellbeing challenges in their data as a reason for sickness. 
  • The average duration for a mental health absence is 16.3 days the average days off (across all illnesses and all clients 3.0 days). 
  • 24.4% of those who struggle with a mental health issue are likely to need additional time off in the 12 months following the original absence. 

What we can do 

So what can we do? When it comes to what we can do to better support mental wellbeing needs and create an open culture surrounding the issue, it helps to consider the responsibilities on a number of levels. 

Firstly, we all have a personal responsibility. We all have mental health, so it’s important that we all look after ourselves as best we can. It’s important we try to manage our own stress levels. This could include practicing self care, and keeping an eye on ourselves so we’re more aware of our current mental state and any changes that may occur. 

mental health awareness

We introduce a second level of responsibility for managers and leaders. Not only do you then have a responsibility to yourself and looking after your own mental wellbeing, but you also need to foster an environment in which your team feel safe and nurtured. As well as understanding the challenges, this means listening without judgement, and identifying options to better support positive wellbeing. 

And then at a company level, there are a number of things to consider too. To create a wider environment in which employees feel that their wellbeing is being taken care of, you could consider implementing employee assistance programmes, mental health first aiders, or support awareness days. However you decide to address the mental health challenges, it’s a great time to start discussing it. 

If you want more visibility over the absence of your team, then the edays absence management software can completely streamline the whole process, and can be tailored to suit your company’s requirements. Book a demo here to see how it works.  

Jenni author blog
October 12, 2022

Jenni Littlehales is a marketing professional and an experienced author with a background in a wide variety of industries. Her understanding of people, wellbeing and associated challenges give a unique perspective in the evolving landscape of HR and technology.