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Employers urged to tackle ‘recession depression’

April 2, 2009

A timely article:

Employers must invest in support services to counter the impact of the recession on the workforce’s mental health, providers are warning.

Bupa reports this month that calls from people afraid of redundancy have more than tripled since September 2008. The provider’s counselling helpline has also received 41% more calls about stress at work.

Dr Peter Mace, assistant medical director at Bupa Wellness, said: “The recession means that it is even more important for employers to monitor the mental wellbeing of their staff and give employees free access to counselling services to help them manage a problem before it gets to a point where they need to take time off work.

“This has the benefit of being a cost-effective and efficient way for employers to help their staff.”

Dr Mace said a study had shown that 44% of people with access to a telephone helpline and face-to-face counselling for issues related to mental ill health said the service saved them from taking time off work. The advice given also resulted in a reported 48% improvement in productivity.

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