How many working days are lost to mental health issues annually?

Penmann - Mental Health First Aid matters

Would you like to guess? Our office manager Judith recently presented her experience as a trained Mental Health First Aider to the whole Penmann team.

A few excerpts from her learning and shared experience with the Team:


The emotional & spiritual resilience which allows us to enjoy life and survive pain, disappointment & sadness. It is a positive sense of wellbeing and an underlying belief in our own and other’s dignity and self-worth.


Any condition that affects a person’s thinking, emotions and behaviour and/or disrupts their ability to work, carry out normal everyday activities and engage in satisfying personal relationships


It is the help offered to a person who is developing a mental health issue, experiencing a worsening of an existing issue or in a severe mental health crisis. As with physical first aid, it is given until professional help is received, or the crisis is resolved. Aiming to:

•Preserve life where a person may be at risk of harming themselves or others

•Provide help to prevent the mental health issue from becoming worse

•Promote recovery

•Provide comfort

At any given time 1 in 6 working age adults have symptoms of mental ill health which do not meet the criteria for diagnosis, such as sleep problems, and a further 1 in 6 experience diagnosable mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, at any given time. 75% of these receive no treatment

Mental illness is the largest single source of burden of disease in the UK. Nothing else matches it in terms of the combination of prevalence, persistence and impact

Staggering isn’t it?

At Penmann we care about our team as without each person functioning to the best of their ability we could not produce the excellent work we do. So, we have a robust policy in place so that if anybody is struggling with whatever issues they have they get access to help. Now fully trained, Judith can spot the signs and extend a friendly hand or do whatever is needed.

By the way the answer to the question is approximately 91 million lost working days. Again, staggering numbers.

And finally:

Something for you to do!

Everyone has a stress bucket, a virtual container into which stresses flow. The bigger the container, the lower the person’s vulnerability to stress and vice versa. The size of the container is down to many factors but when it overflows, difficulties develop. At the bottom of the bucket is a valve and when it is opened by using your coping methods, stress reduces. Some coping strategies are helpful (asking for help, exercise, being with friends and family) others are not (drugs, overeating, excessive alcohol, working late). Everyone uses unhelpful coping strategies from time to time and they may work short-term, to meet a deadline for example but long term, they will always make matters worse.

Here’s a sample Stress Bucket:

Penmann - Mental Health First Aid stress bucket

THANK YOU FOR READING! Get in touch if you would like to know more.

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