Mental Health in Small Firms

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


- SFA calls on owner managers to promote mental health & wellbeing in the workplace

- 1 in 5 people of working age experience a mental health problem

“One in five people of working age experience a mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression. Owner managers should put the right structures in place to support themselves and their employees.” A J Noonan, Chairman, Small Firms Association.


The Small Firms Association in advance of World Mental Health Day, on 10th October, is calling on small businesses to address mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

A J Noonan, SFA Chairman said “During difficult periods, when the economic environment has left many owner managers fearing for their future, it is not surprising that the fragile business climate has had an impact on them and their workforce – the most common issues are stress and low morale.”

While many firms promote a culture that is positive towards mental health, owner managers often forget about their own mental health. “One in five people of working age experience a mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression. Owner managers should put the right structures in place to support themselves as well as their employees,” said Noonan.

Noonan added that if issues aren't addressed, they can have serious long-term consequences for the business and the individual. “Stress-related issues; increased employee absences; lost productivity; increased work pressure on other colleagues - can have a negative effect on the overall performance of a business. Tackling workforce challenges is an essential part of achieving better performance and greater growth.”

The SFA highlight that mental health remains an area that many people do not understand or fear, and as a result, it is not talked about, especially by business people. “Very often individuals, including business owners are reluctant to seek help. As it may be seen as a weakness or an inability to cope with business pressures.”

“Mental health problems are not necessarily a barrier to effective working. In fact, work can play a very positive role in supporting individuals who have, or who are recovering from, mental health problems,” said Noonan.

The SFA provides information guides directed at employers, who are key to promoting a culture that is positive towards mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

“Staying mentally healthy is important for our home, work and social lives. Having good mental health helps anyone cope better with stress and unexpected events that occur,” concluded Noonan.

Ends.

For further information, contact: A J Noonan, Chairman, Small Firms Association, Tel: 086 259 2610.

Note: The Small Firms Association (SFA) is the national organisation exclusively representing the needs of small enterprises (i.e. those employing less than 50 employees) in Ireland. The organisation works with government and policy makers nationally and internationally, to ensure that the economic environment is conducive to small business establishment and development.
Close