I am delighted to join Evolyst as Chief Medical Officer, to contribute to, and support, exciting work to quantify the impact that wellbeing services have on productivity and the bottom line.

The term Mental Wealth is a combination of mental health and wellbeing. In my first blog, I would like to start a conversation about the relationship between wellbeing and wellness services and mental health. We have all seen the statistics about how many of us will experience mental health symptoms in our lifetime and how many of us know someone with a significant mental health problem.

Many wellbeing factors can contribute through presenteeism, absenteeism and leavism but how can these be quantified when it comes to the mental wealth of a business?

In this first edition, we explore the relationship between mental health and workplace accidents.

The term RIDDOR, Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, is enough to strike fear into the heart of any business. Thoughts of investigations and missed performance targets can be linked to the lack of, or reduction of, reportable conditions and incidents. Have you or your team ever lost a bonus because someone fell down a set of steps? How would it feel if your business linked performance to an evidence-based measure of the underlying factors? How helpful would it be if you could identify the link between cognitive performance and behaviour?

Strong evidence supports that the way people are thinking and feeling, (frame of mind – as shown below), on a particular day can cause or contribute to them having an accident, behave unsafely or commit an error.

It is often assumed that mental health is a discrete and mysterious aspect of the human condition, perceived as unrelated to and less important than physical health.

There is also research to suggest that longer-term psychological ill-health, such as clinical anxiety and depression, has a significant negative impact on performance. It is difficult to separate the effect of medication from the effect of ill-health. Currently Occupational Health is assessed and monitored separately from incident investigations in most organisations therefore there is not sufficient evidence about the impact of psychological ill-health on accident figures. In my recent literature review, there is a plethora of evidence that depression and anxiety are part of the ‘neurodiverse constellation’ representing the diversity of the human brain and psyche.

 

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We recognise and accept that people with long term medical conditions and disabilities are more likely to be depressed, but have assumed that the depression is due to chronic pain, lack of sleep, and the constraints and limitations imposed on daily life by those conditions.

Chronic inflammation e.g. colitis, arthritis and dermatitis and other conditions also play a significant role in the number of cases and severity of depression. New and exciting treatments are on the horizon, which may explain why some mental health symptoms and conditions seem resistant to treatment. There is strong evidence that we must come out of judgement and stopassuming that mental health is a ‘won’t do’ attitude and remove the barriers that make it a ‘can’t do’ health problem

There are many wellbeing sources of support to help businesses invest in their employees’wellbeing. Many of these focus on therapeutic interventions to help sufferers ‘manage’ or ‘take control of their conditions’.

The treatment of mental health is a fast changing environment. NHS, non-profit sector and private counselling services have never been so popular, with mental health and mindfulness products filling the app stores, making it d difficult for users to differentiate between them.

Initiatives such as the Mental Wealth Lab have been set up to develop an open, supportive and caring environment in which everyone can thrive and flourish.
Now we know that one size does not fit all, we need to understand why and how some people respond better to treatments and interventions than others. Much is being done to invest in and measure the impact of NHS mental health services, but the 3rd sector and employers hold a vast bank of data that could help individuals to make informed choices and select their owntreatments to ‘get it right first time’.
So what does this mean for employers and wellbeing providers?

Key to this is a system that protects individuals’ confidentiality while providing essential trendanalysis to enable employers and the economy to become more productive and competitive whilst increasing their Mental Wealth. Retention of skilled and experienced staff is a key driver for the bottom line, and as employees work longer into what was previously retirement, the opportunity for long-term conditions increases.

Lumien, a software platform from Evolyst, helps employers to understand the mental health landscape of their organisation and make informed decisions and quantify their return on investment in wellbeing services and products driven through careful data analysis.

Evolyst can support organisations make informed choices which affect the mental wealth of the business by calculating the impact of wellbeing strategies and investments, to increase resilience, productivity and reduce presenteeism, leavism and absence.

If you’d like to find out more visit Lumien.co.uk

 

Written by Lucy Kenyon

SCPHN, M.Med.Sci. (OH), RGN Chief Medical Officer Evolyst

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