Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 How does poor mental health impact the workplace?

The 15 – 21 May marks the UK’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 – an important reminder to prioritise mental health and wellbeing (not just during this designated week, but throughout the year).

Individuals and communities are encouraged to learn about mental health, reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, and promote mental wellness. This annual event also highlights the reality of mental health suffering across the UK:

  • 1 in 6 in the UK will experience a common mental health problem
  • Women are twice as likely as men to experience anxiety or depression
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 20-34 years old.
  • Rates of depression have doubled during the last 2 years
  • The rate of anxiety has increased by 50% in the last 2 years

Mental health in the workplace

Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress can have a significant impact on your work performance. These conditions can lead to difficulties concentrating, low motivation levels, and decreased productivity. In some cases, this can also lead to absenteeism or presenteeism.

Absenteeism is a major issue in the UK, with mental health problems being the leading cause of long-term sickness absence. According to the Centre for Mental Health, mental health issues cost UK businesses £35 billion per year, with 15.4 million working days lost due to work-related stress, anxiety, and depression.

Presenteeism – where an individual is present at work but unable to function to their full ability – can lead to decreased productivity, increased errors and accidents, and have a negative impact on the overall workplace culture.

Medical insurance may provide access to mental health support, which can ultimately benefit both the individual and the company. It may cover the cost of private mental health treatment, including therapy, counselling, and medication – which in turn may reduce waiting times and help ensure that employees receive the support they need promptly.

Furthermore, providing medical insurance that includes mental health support can improve employee satisfaction and retention rates. It demonstrates to employees that their employer values their well-being and is willing to invest in their health. This can lead to increased engagement and motivation levels, as well as a positive impact on the overall workplace culture.


We want to help keep you feeling your best and your business thriving, which is why we work with health insurance broker, Insured Health, to make finding the right cover for you simpler. As an IoD member, you benefit from 10% discount* on Bupa By You health insurance.

*Applies to eligible Institute of Directors members on quotes for new Bupa By You policies. Discount will be reviewed on 22/10/2023 and any changes will apply to renewals and new quotes thereafter. Quotes are valid for 14 days. Terms and conditions apply.

Institute of Directors is an introducer to Insured Health Ltd. Insured Health Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No: 9886202. Registered office: Saville House, 74-90 Savile Street, Sheffield, S4 7UD.

Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HJ.

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Supporting good mental health and wellbeing

Browse valuable mental-health resources from the IoD.
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