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One in five business leaders willing to reevaluate mental health policies to improve wellbeing

A new survey of 1,000 key decision-makers in business revealed what companies are doing in order to combat the mental health crisis in the UK. Over one in five (21%) of business leaders state they are willing to re-evaluate their mental health policies, offering reassurance that steps are being taken in the right direction to help staff.

Currently, there are no legal requirements for allocated psychological first aiders compared to the requirement for physical first aiders or fire marshalls – despite being a business essential. The trauma felt from the pandemic has seen businesses proactively improve their mental health support with an increase of 10% of businesses that now have support in place.

This comes after 7 in 10 (68%) businesses admitted to not having mental health support for their staff pre-pandemic, with this number decreasing to 58% post-pandemic. With over a tenth (12%) of employees revealing they have left their job citing mental health as one of the main reasons for leaving, it is clear just how important mental health policies such as counseling, training and psychological first aiders are.

Of the businesses that have made changes to their policies since the pandemic, over 2 in 5 (42%) have already implemented online counseling for employees and 34% have already invested in mental health first aiders.

In response to these findings, FutureLearn is providing support to these businesses and HR professionals who want to improve workplace mental health training, including its COVID-19: Psychological First Aid course, and encouraging employers to consider implementing further policies.

Yvonne Chien, Chief Growth Officer at FutureLearn, says: “We commissioned this survey to reinforce the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace. We’ve seen how the past 18 months have impacted mental health. This national shift has only strengthened our belief in the significance of businesses having access to the right support.

“Our own focus on mental health at FutureLearn is continuously developing as we learn more about our employee needs through our trained mental health champions. We hope that we will be joined by other businesses in showing that such policies are not just suggestions on paper but provide real solutions that are beneficial for all.”