The annual Mental Health Awareness Week this year has a focus on the theme of anxiety.
The organisation carried out research which showed a quarter of adults feel so anxious, it stops them from doing the things they want to do some or all of the time. In addition, six in ten adults feel this way at least some of the time.
A spokesperson for Mental Health Foundation said: “Focusing on anxiety for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week will increase people’s awareness and understanding of anxiety by providing information on the things that can help prevent it from becoming a problem.
“At the same time, we will keep up the pressure to demand change – making sure that improving mental health is a key priority for the government and society as a whole.”
Taking on the theme for this year’s annual week, Group Risk Development (GRiD) has encouraged employers to lean in on group risk support for anxiety.
The industry body for the group risk sector has released advice for people feeling anxious at work.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “Anxiety can in itself be debilitating but one thing can also very quickly lead to another where anxiety is concerned.
“Serious conditions such as panic attacks, depression, substance misuse, insomnia, digestive/bowel problems, headaches, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, chronic pain, social isolation, and agoraphobia, can all stem from anxiety, which can detrimentally impact an individual’s ability to function well at work as well as their overall quality of life.
“When anxiety is suspected, it’s vital that support can be accessed quickly before it progresses. That is where employee benefits, such as group risk products (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness) can help.
“They offer a variety of non-financial support that can be accessed even before an individual has taken time off work and before any claim is made, as well as providing financial assistance if the individual does indeed require a more sustained absence period.
“Employee Assistance Programmes, second medical opinions, access to counselling, and bereavement support are often embedded in to plans to help avert anxiety in the first place, to prevent absence when anxiety is severe, to reduce the length of absence, and help staff return to work when they are ready and able.
“Support is also available for the HR team and individuals managing an employee with anxiety.
“Employers need to lean in on all of this embedded support for anxiety as it is usually part and parcel of the policy and therefore comes at no additional cost.”