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Mental wealth

13 October, 2023

For those who missed it (although it was difficult to escape the flood of social media posts, such as this engaging video by Norwich City Football Club), Wednesday marked World Mental Health Day. This day aims to raise awareness of mental health problems and mobilise efforts to support anyone struggling.

The importance of mental health in the workplace is increasingly recognised, and evidence of the link between a healthy workforce and a strong, thriving economy is growing. An estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year due to depression and anxiety, costing $1trillion globally. Meanwhile, for every $1 invested in mental health interventions in the workplace, there is a $4 return in health and productivity. Therefore, improving your organisation’s mental health is not just a social benefit, it also saves money.

With this in mind, the second CCLA Corporate Mental Health Benchmark was released on World Mental Health Day, highlighting the actions that companies are taking to promote positive mental health in the workplace. 110 of the world’s largest companies were assessed including HSBC, Netflix and Pfizer. They were measured on their approach to workplace mental health across four major themes: management commitment and policy; governance and management; leadership and innovation; and performance reporting and impact.

The results?

Well, there is much that is positive. Almost all (95%) of the companies assessed in 2023 recognise mental health as an important business concern and 78% of companies are providing multiple mental health services. 19 companies also improved upon their performance tier rating in 2023, compared to 2022.

However, it is not all good news. CEOs seem to have commitment issues when it comes to mental health declarations, with only 17% sharing public pledges. The CCLA suggest by speaking out about the importance of good mental health at work, CEOs can enhance efforts to destigmatise mental health. More work is also needed to train line managers to provide critical support to their employees, with currently only 22% of companies disclosing this.

Nevertheless, in its second year the CCLA Corporate Mental Health Benchmark is already driving improvements in workplace mental health, enabling greater transparency and accountability, and allowing stakeholders and investors to easily assess corporate management of mental health risks and opportunities globally. Businesses need to capitalise on this opportunity and recognise that investment in mental health initiatives can result in a happy, thriving workforce and economic benefits.

By Charlotte Pounder

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