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Building an effective mental health programme in your business is an imperative

Happy team at work

Barbara Harvey, mental health executive sponsor at Accenture, explains why employees’ mental health is a key issue for every business, and describes how to create and roll out a successful programme to foster and support it.

Until just a few years ago, mental health was the elephant in the room in workplaces and society in general. Nobody mentioned it, and people suffered in silence rather than seeking help. Put simply, it was always “someone else’s problem”.

No longer. Today mental health is everybody’s problem: in any given year, one person in four is likely experience an episode of mental ill health –  and the OECD estimates that one in two will do so in a lifetime.

This means every single person is impacted by it, because every sufferer is someone’s friend, parent, child or sibling. So it’s not something you might come across in business or at home. You will come across it. And it’s not a question of whether companies should get involved, because they already are....