For many companies in which we invest, success relies on being able to attract and retain talent. Key to this is fostering a safe and inclusive workplace culture, and this includes a mentally healthy workplace.
A report by Price Waterhouse Coopers estimates that ignoring mental health costs Australian businesses around AUD10.9 billion a year.1 Although awareness of mental health issues has increased in recent years, there is still a stigma attached to mental health, particularly in the workplace.
The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way employers think about the health of employees. Organisations were forced to make major decisions about how to protect the physical health of their people by sending them to work from home, while the challenging conditions of lockdown made mental health a key issue. In the UK the number of adults reported to be suffering symptoms of depression has almost doubled since the onset of the pandemic.2
Employers who had previously thought of workplace health in terms of ‘lost time incident rates’ have been prompted to consider physical and mental health more holistically. With employees feeling isolated, stressed and overwhelmed, employers have been challenged take proactive steps to support the mental wellness of their people, as this case study from our unlisted infrastructure team demonstrates.
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2. 19.2% in June 2020 from 9.7% in the period July 2019 to March 2020, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/coronavirusanddepressioninadultsgreatbritain/june2020#:~:text=Almost%20one%20in%20five%20adults,July%202019%20to%20March%202020
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