A COMPANY is investing in helping staff manage mental health as new research highlights concerns that admitting to mental health worries at work is career-limiting.

MetLife, an employee benefits provider based in Trafalgar Place, Brighton, carried out a study.

It shows 61 per cent of people have seen a rise in reporting of mental health issues but nearly half say admitting to issues is seen as a weakness by employers.

MetLife, which is signing up to Time To Change’s Employer Pledge as part of its commitment to addressing mental health issues is marking World Mental Health Day tomorrow with a range of activities including training for staff.

It is already running mindfulness courses for staff and provided awareness training for all line managers.

Mindfulness courses for employees have been running since May and mental health awareness training for all line managers began at the start of 2018.

In the survey, 56 per cent believe staff are unwilling to discuss mental health challenges with their employer.

Around two thirds want to see best practice standards for addressing mental health at work agreed.

However there is optimism that attitudes are changing – 68 per cent say momentum is building to address mental health issues and identify training for managers and employees as the most effective method.

Dominic Grinstead, managing director,MetLife UK said: “At MetLife we want to do what we can to help our people take control of all aspects of their wellbeing. “A key element of this is mental health, and helping our people understand where they can go for help, support and information.

“Practical programmes to help improve employees’ mental health create the foundations for companies to grow strongly. “Elements of our own group income protection proposition help address this for our clients, with return to work services and support that includes counselling. “However, the spectrum of mental health is wide and our clients’ employees can also benefit from simple access to information that can help them take control.”

Meanwhile, Paul Lane, ABC Worksafe founder and client services director, says that Sussex businesses need to get wise with mental health.

He said: “At any given time, according to the mental health charity Mind, at least one in six workers is experiencing common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.

“Compared to 2017, 750,000 more working days in June and July 2018 were lost due to mental health-related causes.

“According to Deloitte in 2017, mental health issues cost £1,500 – £2,500 for every employee in the UK economy and this is escalating every year.

“Good mental health is the foundation on which we can develop the extra business membranes that enable our companies to spread their wings.

“Wellbeing in the workplace is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.

“Research and good old-fashioned common sense tells us that companies with high levels of good mental health are more successful. “ABC Worksafe, based in Worthing, has dedicated itself to work at the forefront of this campaign and is running two Mental Health First Aid courses accredited by MHFA England.

“Both one day and two day courses are designed for businesses who want staff members to recognise the signs of someone suffering from mental ill health such as stress, anxiety and depression.

“Both are fully certificated and will count towards CPD.”