A group of business leaders, including many from the media and agency world, have lent their voice to a campaign calling on the prime minister Theresa May to tighten health and safety rules in order to protect the mental health of workers.
Over 50 businesses are backing the measure; including Bauer Media, The 7 Stars, Exterion Media, the PRCA, Wavemaker UK, Channel 4, Publicis Media and Starcom with the common goal of introducing new legislation which would place mental health on the same footing as physical wellbeing.
The media industry has been moved to act by statistics showing that a sixth of all people of working age will experience some form of mental ill health during their careers such as depression, anxiety and stress. It is estimated that mental health issues now cost the UK economy £35bn each year, with 15.4m working days lost.
Paul Keenan, chief executive of Bauer Media UK & European Radio, commented: “The impact of neglecting mental ill health in the workplace is two-fold: both an economic and human cost which we have the opportunity to alleviate.
“By investing in the physical and mental health of our people we will not only unlock human potential in the workplace but reduce astronomical costs to the economy. It is imperative the government takes notice of U.K. employers and the public who are standing up and calling for change.”
If enacted the new legislation would ensure employees can access a trained staff member for support and guidance, helping to break the stigma of mental health.
The Drum held its own one-day hackathon last month seeking ways for the industry to come together to destigmatise mental health issues.