Mental health issues are costing Milton Keynes firms more than 1.2 million working days per year.
Talk For Change, a new talking therapy project from the NHS and Mind in Milton Keynes, estimates that 482,000 days are estimated to be lost through employee absence and 725,000 days are lost through ‘presenteeism’ - being unable to function properly in the workplace.
Talk For Change is a new self-referral service that uses talking therapies to help with issues such as anxiety, stress, panic or depression.
Jon Olsen and Caroline Holman, are the Talk For Change MK programme managers.
Caroline said: “Reduced productivity in the workplace due to mental-health issues is an enormous problem for a growing economy such as Milton Keynes, and with almost six in 10 people in our community currently suffering, it is a problem employers need to address.
“We help businesses with mental-health workshops and we offer face-to-face talking therapies to overcome issues.”
Research shows that there remains a stigma around mental health issues – partly because the physical symptoms are not always as apparent as other illnesses. Talk For Change can help people in Milton Keynes who have previously suffered in silence.
Jon Olsen explained: “There are new, confidential solutions available. We have a self-referral website where anyone registered with a Milton Keynes GP, can answer a few questions about how they are feeling and get a call back within 48 working hours. They don’t even need to visit their GP.”
He added: “The pressure of life – home, as well as work – can lead to a change in our mood, a loss of appetite or an increase in negative thoughts.
“We all know someone experiencing these emotions - and the best advice is to seek help. Talk For Change is here to help you, your employees and colleagues get the right talking therapy support.”
The Talk For Change team’s experience shows that mental health issues can hit across any sector of Milton Keynes business – whether it be a multi-national organisation, professional services, or within the thriving entrepreneurial community.