Scottish employers could help save the economy almost £1 million pounds every day by properly investing in mental health support in the workplace, according to a new campaign launched today by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and supported by Stripe.
The figures have been revealed by SAMH as part of their new “Dismissed?” campaign – the first campaign that links together the benefits system and employment to focus on the whole employability journey of people with mental health problems in Scotland.
Research commissioned by SAMH reveals that sickness absence as a result of mental health problems at work cost Scotland’s employers around £360 million a year – the equivalent of almost £1million a day.
Research has previously shown that fewer than four in ten employers would consider employing someone with a history of mental health problems, compared to more than six in ten for candidates with a physical disability.
The new “Dismissed?” campaign was launched today (Tuesday) at the start of Scottish Mental Health Awareness Week. This comes as the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions leads a debate about reforming welfare and getting people back into work at the Conservative Party Conference.
At the Edinburgh launch, SAMH Chief Executive Billy Watson unveiled a giant representation of the numbers to illustrate the potential savings from a focus on mental health.
SAMH Chief Executive Billy Watson said: “Many people with mental health problems in Scotland want to work, but face real difficulties in doing so. The “Dismissed?” campaign is about making sure that people in that situation are properly supported.
“With one in four Scots experiencing mental health problems at some point in their lives, we think this is an issue that all businesses need to be aware of. “By offering the right support to employees with mental health problems, employers could cut down on sickness absence, saving the Scottish economy almost £1million a day. “However, some people are currently too unwell to work and our campaign is the first in Scotland to focus on the whole employability journey. We want to make it easier for these individuals to access the benefits that they are entitled to.”