Facing the facts on mental health
Poor mental health is a contemporary epidemic. In a survey we conducted, 68% of respondents told us that mental health issues such as stress and depression cause problems in their organisations. The economic and social case for building resilience and changing our cultural attitudes to mental health has never been clearer.
But the problem is getting worse, not better. In the UK, each new case of stress leads to an average of 29 days off work. Dealing with serious mental health problems in some way will affect nearly all of us in our lifetimes, but the provision of care on a national level is patchy. Concerted action is required.
The role of technology
Any competitive and challenging working environment is stressful to some extent. But we rarely equip our people with the mental tools and support mechanisms to identify when stress has become a problem or to deal with it appropriately. Saffron is an advocate of technology as a change-enabler. We know that well-designed digital experiences can build awareness, bring people and resources together and make tools available at the point of need.
We’ve gained significant experience at creating digital learning and communications campaigns which address mental health related topics in a several ways:
- Diagnostics, personalised toolkits and action plans to make learning applicable
- Scenario-based elearning to support a blended approach to building resilience
- Programmes which tackle mental health in relation to topics such as human rights
- Brand identities and websites aimed at decision-makers for nationwide campaigns
The impact of cultural change
A lack of available strategies for personal resilience is often reflected in the inability of whole organisations to be resilient to the challenges of today’s world. There are also significant cultural taboos which, when reflected in individual and organisational behaviour, can make dealing with mental health seem almost impossible. But culture is not permanent. It changes, and sometimes the smallest step forwards can be the most significant.
We’ve seen our approach yield amazing results, such as our award-winning project with Transport for London. By changing the way employees behaved and felt on a large scale, we delivered a return on investment of over £7.8 million. Saffron is also proud to be a digital partner for Comic Relief funded projects such as the Everyone’s Business campaign, which made national front-page news when it was launched in October 2014.
We’re committed to sharing our insights to help those who want to make a difference. Visit our Insights collection to find out about the results of our own research and access a strategy template for HR and L&D leaders seeking to boost mental resilience.