Mental health is rightly receiving more and more attention nowadays. There is no health without mental health. Businesses – big and small – are becoming more aware of the scale and the human and other costs of poor mental health in the workplace.
Our own claims data reveals that the percentage of employees claiming for mental health issues has more than doubled over the last decade. This chimes with recent reports such as the Stevenson/ Farmer review ‘Thriving at work’ which found 70 million working days are lost each year due to mental health problems in the UK. Not only does this affect the individual and their family and friends, it can have a negative impact on their business.
However, positive change continues to be made and I’m pleased to announce that Bupa is leading the charge for better mental health cover with the launch of a new feature in our business Health Insurance policies: Bupa Business Mental Health Advantage (from 1st April).
It has been a long time in the making because we wanted to be able to offer leading cover and ease of access for our business customers and their people, up and down the country. This launch dovetails the government’s prompt for businesses to do more about mental health which came through in the Thriving at Work report last autumn. We have taken their recommendation very seriously and we’re proud to have delivered mental health cover which meets these requirements. The Bupa Business Mental Health Advantage offers the most extensive mental health cover for businesses and their employees, which is important for giving businesses the confidence that their people can access the right support and care when they need it.
It will provide employees with support and treatment to manage all* short and long-term mental health issues, providing a more progressive approach to dealing with mental health at work. The Mental Health Advantage significantly extends the mental health conditions covered, including many that are typically excluded by other health insurers such as alcohol and drug addiction. As we gain an even better understanding of the businesses we work with, and research into mental health moves forward we will continue to reassess the types of conditions employers and employees need support with.
Our research shows that nearly a third (29%) of employees would go to work despite suffering from a mental health issue, such as depression. There is a risk that these employees are increasing the likelihood that they’ll need a prolonged period of time off work further down the line. Early diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions is so important which is why we have made it easier for all employees to receive help and removed overall time limits on access to treatment. We know that a number of conditions could reoccur years later so employees now have access to medical treatment and support if their condition comes back.
Read more about the cover we’re launching.
With mental health being one of the biggest people issues that UK businesses are dealing with today we’re confident this will help them to colleagues, which is an important step forward.
Find out more information about Bupa Business Mental Health Advantage.
(*The only exceptions are dementia and learning/behavioural development problems)