Cole-Hamilton calls for all public bodies to record mental health absences

On “Blue Monday” Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has called for non-departmental public bodies such as Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Enterprise to record staff absences due to mental ill health, as part of a new push to boost mental health in the workplace.

Scottish Liberal Democrats have recently called on the government to address the:

  • 200,000 police days lost for mental health reasons since 2015;
  • 400,000 school staff days lost for mental health reasons since 2015/16;
  • 1.2 million NHS health staff days lost for absences related to anxiety, stress, depression and other psychiatric illnesses since 2015/16.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: 

Around one in three people are estimated to be affected by mental ill health in any one year, but there are big gaps in how resulting absences are recorded across the public sector.

“That’s why I am calling for all non-departmental public bodies to record staff absences due to mental health reasons, as part of a much bigger stepchange in how we treat mental health.

“Not only will this allow us to paint a more accurate picture of the impact of mental ill health issues, but it will also hopefully open the door to more fruitful conversations about how we boost mental wellbeing and provision in the workplace.

“All public bodies and big businesses should be including information on mental health in their annual reports. Transparency will help drive up standards, encourage the sharing of best practice and help make them better employers.”

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