Mental Health proven to be a problem for the workplace
A recent report has been published by leading insurer that shows nearly 1 in 5 of the Income Protection claims it receives are related to mental health issues - surprisingly cancer claims only account for 12%. A clear gender split is determined from the data - 59% of the claims made were made by women, this backs up investigations conducted by the University of Oxford who identified that women are between 20 - 40 per cent more likely to have a psychological disorder than men in any given year due to social pressures. Fortunately a number of different treatments for mental health are being proven to be effective. For example, the case for receiving therapy – as opposed to drug-based – treatment for depression has been given more weight after the University of Kassel found that it can correct some of the hyperactivity that occurs in the brain due to the illness. The importance of mental health and wellbeing has also been picked up on by Health Insurers, with most Private Medical Insurance (PMI) schemes now providing options to include comprehensive access to mental health services and treatment – ultimately allowing their members to get back to day to day live much quicker than has previously been possible. Income Protection providers are also offering discounts to companies that have Private Medical Insurance policies in place, recognising that access to prompt specialist care will often reduce the length of time an employee is absent from work and often reducing the Income Protection providers overall claims exposure. Fully understanding how employee benefits can work together will have a significant impact both in the overall cost and the value they bring to business and their employees. Introducing flexible hours can also be a viable alternative to improve the morale of the workforce – although it can be difficult to implement it could bring about a shift in your company culture, and ultimately bring a more positive image to reduce the number of mental health issues caused due to work stress.