The Cambridges

The Duke of Cambridge examines the role of employers in mental health for Heads Together

On Monday afternoon, the Duke of Cambridge spent time learning the ways that employers can better their employees mental health.

As part of the Heads Together initiative that he started with the Duchess of Cambridge and his brother, Prince Harry, the foundation is working at ending the stigma that surrounds mental health.

Hosted by Unilever, Prince William joined business leaders to listen to some of “country’s top FTSE 100 employers about how mental health and wellbeing is currently understood within the workplace”.

Representatives from Mind and the Time to Change Campaign were on hand and Unilever CEO Paul Polman and Mind CEO Paul Farmer both spoke to the importance of the positive attitude towards mental health issues.

“If you had an operation you would tell your manager but there is still a stigma for the biggest cause of absence,” said Paul Polman.

According to Time to Change “mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK”, they estimate that it costs businesses around £1035 per-employee per-year.

Paul Farmer said to the audience: “One small step like having that conversation ‘are you ok?’ And being comfortable with the answer ‘no’ can have a big impact”.

The Duke of Cambridge also gave a speech speaking of the help the East Anglican Air Ambulance team which the prince works with receives: “The air ambulance team know that we can get help for what is going on in our heads if we need it”

The Duke went on to say: “Our vision to create a society that treats mental health like physical health, as something to be nurtured, needs your help” and that “we cannot do this without employers – and we believe it is in your interest”.

More facts from Time to Change that was tweeted out included that 95% of employees who call in sick with stress gave a different reason and 1 in 6 British employees are affected with mental health issues like depression or anxiety each year.

If you need urgent help for any form of mental health issue and are in the UK, click here for how you can receive help.