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Report calls for better mental health support at work

AWARENESS: Around 15% of people in work have symptoms of a mental health condition

"UP TO 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year, a report says," BBC News reports.

These findings are based on a report, Thriving at Work: a review of mental health and employers, commissioned by Prime Minister Theresa May in January 2017. The report looked into the extent of mental ill health in the workplace, and the related economic and social costs.

It was written by Lord Dennis Stevenson (mental health campaigner and former HBOS chief) and Paul Farmer (chief executive of the mental health charity Mind), and was jointly published by the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions. It includes research by audit firm Deloitte on costs to employers and the state.

Key findings from the report included:

- Around 15% of people in work have symptoms of a mental health condition.

- Around 6% of people with a long-term mental health condition lose their job each quarter – amounting to 300,000 people each year – compared with 4% of those with a physical health condition.

The authors of the report say that everyone – not just people with long-term mental health conditions – has a mental health status, which can move between "thriving at work" to "struggling at work".

However, the report stresses that people with mental health conditions can still thrive at work if given the right support.

The key effects of mental ill health include:

- People being off work sick (absenteeism)
- People being at work but unable to work effectively (so-called "presenteeism")
- Increased workload for the rest of the workforce
- Increased turnover of the workforce
- Lack of career progression for people with mental health conditions

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