Local economy losing millions due to mental health issues, says Armstrong

The local economy is losing £30 million a year due to sick days related to mental health, Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said.

The Strangford MLA was speaking after hosting an event for the Action Mental Health group at Parliament Buildings for World Mental Health Day. The theme this year is mental health in the workplace, an issue Ms Armstrong said ever more vital in Northern Ireland.

“The issue of mental health has been in the headlines in recent times, with recent statistics showing one in every five adults will suffer a mental health problem at some stage in our lifetime.

“Not only does this increase pressures on an already overburdened health service but it also impacts hugely on the economy by accounting for a sizeable chunk of sick days among Northern Ireland’s businesses and services. It is estimated the local economy loses £30 million every year on this issue.

“Action Mental Health operates a host of initiatives to empower those with mental health issues impacting their private lives and also in need of support at work, and I would encourage businesses to become involved.

“In addition, the Equality Commission’s Mental Health Charter provides a framework for working towards mentally healthy workplaces. Companies who sign up can undertake good mental health, which will not only be beneficial to the, and their employees, but the whole community.”

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