Statement: Mental health needs of young people in work and Higher Education must not be overlooked in PM’s pledge today

10 October 2018

London, UK:  A leading business organisation has welcomed the PM’s announcements on mental health today but called for better support to be available for all young people, including those in work and higher education.

Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit membership organisation, whose members represent 15% of the UK workforce. Commenting on the PM’s announcement of better mental health support for schools and the appointment of a Suicide Prevention Minister, CEO, Diane Lightfoot, said:

“The commitments made by the Prime Minister on mental health today are incredibly welcome.

“The number of young men taking their own lives each year is alarmingly high, and yet there is still very little understanding of the causes of suicide. Through our membership we are aware that this is very much a cross sector issue, and industries which have been traditionally male dominated, such as construction, are reviewing their working practices to try and ensure the right support is available.

“Feeling able to talk to about your mental health needs in your place of work or study is vital. Findings from a study of 16 to 24 year olds published today by Business Disability Forum and Youthsight show while over 90% feel that mental health should be talked about more, two-thirds are uncomfortable discussing mental health needs with people they do not know at work or university.

“To achieve parity between mental health and physical health, we must ensure that support is available for all those who need it. For young people this includes supporting them in their place of work or study and offering help and guidance to line managers and teaching staff on spotting the signs of poor mental health.”

Findings from the Business Disability Forum’s study into young people’s views on mental wellbeing can be viewed here, along with it’s ten-point strategy on workplace stress launched earlier in the year.