Mental health costs employers £1.2bn a year, Ben reveals

Mental health is still one of the biggest issues affecting the industry’s workforce, whitepaper warns.

Ben’s new whitepaper called ‘Mental health in the automotive industry: moving up a gear’ examines evidence and provides practical solutions for employers on how to support the mental health of their workforce.

Ben seeks to make automotive industry employers aware of the stigma still attached to mental health issues and builds a clear case for businesses to take action in support of their employees.

As part of this, Ben wants to work in partnership with automotive industry employers, through its Ben4Business programme, to make a positive difference to the mental health of those who work in the automotive industry.

The paper highlights that, when it comes to workplace issues, the mental health of employees can still be a taboo subject.

The focus of today’s World Mental Health Day is on suicide prevention: suicide is the leading cause of death among men under 45.

Ben’s recently launched Critical Response Service has seen the organisation predominantly supporting employers and employees after a colleague has taken their own life which is a stark reality and should be considered as a call to action.

Whilst the industry’s aim is to increase the number of women employed, it is still predominantly made up of men.

Rachel Clift, health and well-being director at Ben, said: “To coincide with World Mental Health Day, we wanted to shine a spotlight on mental health in the workplace.

“I urge employers to read ‘Mental health in the automotive industry: moving up a gear’ as it offers great insights into the mental health of the automotive industry.

“It’s insightful but it’s also a great resource to help employers support their workforce  and promote positive mental health in their workplace.

“We’re here to look after the health and wellbeing of automotive people because they are the lifeblood of our industry.”

Mental health awareness training

Anna Hatton, well-being manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We’ve been working closely with Ben to provide mental health awareness training for all of our employees with line management responsibilities.

“We felt it was important to train our line managers so they could fully develop their skills in supporting colleagues with their mental health.

“So far, Ben has trained over 800 of our managers, and this number is growing all the time.

“The training has gone down extremely well with our managers and they have given us fantastic feedback, saying they have found it incredibly useful.

“They tell us that the course has really helped build their confidence in approaching and supporting employees they are concerned about.”

Ben’s new whitepaper draws on findings from many sources, including Ben’s own survey that asked hundreds of employees from the industry, including CEOs and HR professionals, to identify key health and wellbeing issues affecting them.

In 2018, 52 per cent of requests for help from Ben’s helpline related to mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, a 23 per cent increase on the previous year.

The evidence in the report paints a picture of an industry that is still struggling with mental health issues.

To find out more about Ben, click here.

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