Mental health problems are costing UK businesses £26bn and the NHS an extra £10bn a year.  Mr Milliband hopes to provide patients with the same legal right to mental health therapies as physical healthcare.  A frightening statistic is that one in four of us will have a mental illness at some point in our lives.  Consequently, proposals have been announced in an attempt to improve the mental health provision within the NHS.  For instance a current problem is that some funds are earmarked for mental health services, but are not being used for the right purposes.

Employers need to be increasingly aware of issues around employees with mental illnesses. They should ensure they follow best practice in terms of addressing mental health issues within individual employees. Employers must ensure they take care even in monitoring sickness absence, as the nature of such illness may mean employee’s are particularly sensitive.