From Awareness to Action – Transforming the UK Public Sector Mental Health

Introduction to Public Sector Employee Mental Health

Mental health poses a challenge within the UK sector as there is a notable occurrence of employees facing mental health issues[3]. As per the 2018/19 Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index 75% of public sector workers have encountered difficulties in their well being while this figure stands at 66% for private sector employees[3]. So plenty of work for both the public and private sectors.

Additionally findings from a 2014 survey on Mental Health and Wellbeing in England reveal that one in six individuals aged 16 and above symptoms of a common mental health disorder within the previous week[2], which is a large number to see for disclosed mental health problems. Recognising the importance of mental health, the UK public sector employs various resources to aid national and local organisations in their efforts to enhance the well being of citizens[4].

Although most public sector entities are making strides towards managing employee health within workplaces[6] there remains work ahead to further improve mental well being specifically within this sector.

Reasons for Mental Health Problems

The factors contributing to the prevalence of mental health among employees in the UK public sector are intricate and multifaceted. There are a number of reasons behind this.

First up there is a sense from the workforce there are insufficient resources. Public sector workers often feel unsupported when they open up about their mental health issues. A survey conducted by the mental health charity Mind revealed a prevalence of health problems in the public sector along with a lack of accessible support.

Next we need to take into consideration the impact of working conditions. Working conditions and the overall work environment can significantly affect one’s well being. Similarly an individual’s mental health can greatly impact their job performance. The public sector tends to experience a prevalence of stress and mental health challenges due to the demanding nature of the work and the sense of responsibility that brings.

Third up is the ongoing stigma surrounding mental health. Although public sector workers are more likely to disclose they have experienced poor mental health, they do not always receive adequate support. In organisations individuals may feel excluded because of their health issues and sometimes others may not even realise that someone is struggling.

This then feeds into absenteeism rates. Public sector employees reported taking an average of three days sick leave in the year due to their health whereas private sector workers took less than a day on average.

The cost of poor employees’ mental health to UK employers ranges from £33 billion to £43 billion annually. This includes the expenses related to absenteeism “presenteeism” (when employees come to work despite being unwell) and staff turnover[12].

These factors along with others contribute significantly to the prevalence of mental health among public sector employees in the UK. Addressing these issues requires an approach that focuses on enhancing health support, improving working conditions, reducing stigma and promoting awareness about mental well being. But this isn’t new information. And there are many reactive solutions on the market today such as manager compliance training and EAPs. Is there a different way forward?

Proactive Education the Solution?

Taking a proactive approach in educating and raising awareness about mental health conditions is crucial. At Gallantium we specialise in providing support packages that focus on workplace mental health topics each month. We take a comprehensive approach includes presentations, dramatised case studies, podcasts, written support guides, top support tips videos and exclusive articles designed to assist leaders and workers in understanding these topics effectively.

Our resources aim to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and encourage changes in behaviour. Our team, composed of experts in health, contributes to the development of our content. We ensure that our content is engaging and accessible for all employees catering to learning styles. We strongly believe in offering solutions that assist employers in managing mental well being concerns before they become overwhelming.

Our approach involves delivering content on a basis allowing employers to consistently demonstrate care and support for health management. This approach ensures that mental health remains a priority providing managers and employees with the support and knowledge to maintain a safe and healthy work environment permanently.


Addressing the prevalence of poor mental health in the public sector in the UK requires a comprehensive approach. Factors such as mental health support systems, challenging working conditions, social stigma and the economic impact of absenteeism all contribute to this concerning trend.

Proactive initiatives for education and raising awareness exemplified by organisations like Gallantium offer a solution. By offering resources and expert guided content they facilitate sharing knowledge and promote changes in behaviour. This approach not only tackles concerns but also establishes a solid foundation for an enduringly safe and mentally healthy work environment by the UK central government.

By acknowledging the complexity of the issues related to a mental health problem and implementing interventions focused on education we can pave the way for a thriving workforce, in the public sector of the UK.















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Nadun Baduge
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