Blue Monday: data shows 11 million days lost due to depression - Lib Dems
Coinciding with Blue Monday, figures show that the total number of working days lost due to depression in 2015/16 was 11.7 million days. This equated to an average of 23.9 days lost per case. Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Norman Lamb said these startling figures should force the Government to sit up and take notice of the mental health crisis facing the UK workforce.
The total number of cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2015/16 was 488,000 cases, a prevalence rate of 1510 per 100,000 workers.
In 2015/16 stress accounted for 37% of all work related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health.
Stress is more prevalent in public service industries, such as education; health and social care; and public administration and defence.
The main work factors cited by respondents as causing work related stress, depression or anxiety were workload pressures including tight deadlines, too much responsibility, and a lack of managerial support.
Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Norman Lamb said:
“These startling figures should force the Government to sit up and take notice of the mental health crisis facing the UK workforce.
“Every day lost due to mental health problems carries an economic as well as a human cost. Mental illness is estimated to cost the economy around £105bn every year.
“There is an urgent need for employers to take a proactive approach to the mental health of their staff and avoid people falling out of work, and the Government must not shy away from bold measures to incentivise this – including changes to legislation where necessary.
“While we have a raft of legislation and regulations focusing on employees’ physical health and safety, mental wellbeing is still very much neglected in the workplace. But the case for investing in workforce mental health is unanswerable. Prevention and early intervention can make a massive difference – and it makes total economic sense for employers, who will reap the benefits of higher productivity and reduced absenteeism.”