Statistics suggest that in the UK, mental health problems are the largest single source of disability (British Medical Association Board of Science, 2014), with approximately one in four people affected each year (McManus et al., 2009), costing the UK economy 4.5% of Gross Domestic Product (Davies, 2013).  In addition, The Health and Safety Executive (2017) state that work-related stress is a major cause of occupational ill health which can cause severe physical and psychological conditions in your workers… health and safety legislation requires you to assess the level of risk from hazards in the workplace and to take all reasonably practicable measures to prevent or sufficiently reduce that risk.  For the latest HSE guidelines on First aid needs assessment, including Mental ill health and first aid, click here.


From the Thriving at Work Report (Farmer & Stevenson, 2017):

  • There is a large annual cost to employers of between £33 billion and £42 billion… This amounts to a cost per employee of between £1,205 and £1,560 per year. This cost is for all employees, not just those who are ill.
  • The report set out “mental health core standards” – a framework for a set of actions which we believe all organisations in the country are capable of implementing quickly. These mental health core standards are as follows:
    • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan;
    • Develop mental health awareness among employees;
    • Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling;
    • Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work life balance and opportunities for development;
    • Promote effective people management through line managers and supervisors;
    • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing.
  • There are things that can be done to help with mental health problems: In recent years, there has been a growing emergence of work on workplace mental health, led by… Mental Health First Aiders… amongst others.


Annual Private Sector Mental Ill Health Costs per Employee

(Adapted from: Farmer & Stevenson, 2017 – click on image for full size view)

Further Resources

MHFA England have released a video explaining the value of MHFA – available to view here.

For additional resources to help employers discover the value of MHFA, please click here.