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World Mental Health Day: Remove the Stigma. Be the Change

10 October 2023

Mental health is a universal human right, yet one in six adults experiences moderate to severe depressive symptoms. There are barriers. There’s a stigma. As an employer, you can remove them all by ingraining employee mental wellbeing into your core values. Read on to discover how.

Mental health is a universal human right, and yet…


“Mental health struggles are, regrettably, becoming a more common experience within organisations. It’s estimated that one in three UK employees have faced mental health challenges in the workplace. However, what's particularly concerning is that 46% of UK employees express apprehension about facing discrimination or social stigma in their workplace due to mental health issues.” Graham James, Director, Pluxee UK


Mental health may be a universal human right, but it isn’t a universal reality. 

 1.75 million people were in contact with mental health services at the end of June 2023 (NHS England).

We can look at the above figure in different ways. On one hand, it paints a bleak picture of mental health in the UK. Still, the most important thing to remember is that these people are receiving help.

What of those who suffer in silence because they’re unable to speak out and seek the help they need?

Remove the stigma. Be the change and give a voice to those who need it most.


What’s impacting our mental health?

This is a logical question, but the answer isn’t as straightforward.

We experience many things in life that impact our mental health and resilience at home and work. Every person is unique, their situations personal, and the best way to discover what’s affecting them is to create a culture of openness.

Providing employees with a safe space to talk = less risk of their issues escalating.


Financial Anxiety

Every situation is different, but there are known elements that are impacting the nation’s mental health, which will also be causing your employees excess stress.

In the UK, 11.5 million people have less than £100 in savings - less than the cost of a weekly shop for a family of four.

Anxiety impacts our daily lives, decisions, and ability to handle other stresses – such as those in the workplace.

76% of UK absences are directly attributable to anxiety and stress.


“1 in 6 employees in the UK reported having a mental health condition, and stress, depression and anxiety are leading causes of sickness absence” (Gov.UK).


Employees with money worries + less mental resilience = higher rate of absenteeism.


The time of year

The weather has thrown us a curveball recently, with the sun fighting to make an appearance. Still, we are heading into the winter months, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) negatively impacts your employees’ mental health.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that occurs in a seasonal pattern, most prevalent during winter (NHS).

Symptoms of SAD include:

  • Low moods.

  • Feelings of worthlessness.

  • Lack of interest in everyday activities and more.

 SAD employees = higher risk of low engagement, motivation, and productivity,


Be the change for your people!

We can’t always get out of the seasonal slump or solve our financial worries alone… and your employees don’t have to.

Remove the stigma, break the cycle and be the positive change your people need!


Winter wellbeing activities

If the time of year is impacting your people, step up your wellbeing initiatives.

Winter wellbeing initiatives might include:

  • Regular mental health meet-ups.

  • Weekly walks.

  • Start the week with a Monday morning yoga class…

  • And wrap up your week with a Friday afternoon meditation session.

These are all achievable whether your employees are in the office or working from home.

These four suggestions alone will help to build employee wellbeing into the heart of your business whilst giving your employees a chance to prioritise their mental health.

Create a network of support and a culture of belonging to boost employee mental resilience.


Stretch salaries to reduce financial anxiety

The cost of living is causing many people in the UK to give up the things they love to afford the things they need. This may positively impact financial wellbeing, but it’s detrimental to emotional and mental health.  

Helping employees afford more of what matters most + more moments of joy = a happier and more engaged workforce.

We have several employee benefits that stretch employees’ salaries and alleviate the impact of the rising cost of living.

SmartPay: Whether it’s the unexpected expense of a new washing machine, treating yourself to the latest fitness wearable, or easing the upfront spend on the kid’s presents… 

SmartPay helps your employees avoid high-interest loans or credit cards by spreading the up-front cost of technology, appliances, wellbeing, and lifestyle purchases through affordable and manageable salary deductions.

Empower employees to make purchases with peace of mind and help them manage their finances better.

Pluxee Card: Help employees stretch their salaries further and enjoy more of what really matters, with the potential to earn up to 15% cashback when they purchase from one of the over 80 retailers we partner with.

You can load cash rewards and incentives directly to the cards, and your employees can top it up as they go.

Spend online and in-store wherever Visa prepaid is accepted worldwide!

Employee Discounts Platform: Give employees more freedom in the choices they make every day with a wide range of discounts at their fingertips.

We partner with over 100 retailers, so your people can save on everything from the weekly shop to top tech, holidays, and more!


Prevention is key = EAP

Our Employee Assistance Programme is becoming a business essential.


Because prevention is better than cure.

Our EAP includes crisis support and access to BACP-accredited counsellors 24/7, 365. They’re there whenever your employees need them. They’re also there to give your employees the tools, support, and resources they need to boost their mental resilience, preventing them from reaching breaking point.

From daily wellbeing tips to access to financial advisors when you receive an unexpected bill – our Employee Assistance Programme is a proactive way to support your employees’ mental wellbeing.


Remove the stigma and be the change with Pluxee UK

At Pluxee UK, we’ve embraced the concept of more. More opportunities for your business, more moments of joy for your people, and more mental resilience.

World Mental Health Day puts the focus on mental health, but the concept lasts a lifetime – not a day.

Arrange a call with Pluxee UK to discover how to support and protect your employees’ mental health in the workplace and beyond.