Wellbeing Stalling Despite A Bright Economic Outlook

In Healthcare, Individual, Mental Health by Paul Connolly

With Mental Health Awareness Week just around the corner, new figures show that wellbeing in the UK has stalled, despite rising economic prosperity.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 will take place from Monday 13th to Sunday 19th May 2019. Hosted, as always, by the Mental Health Foundation, this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week will focus on the theme of body image – how we think and feel about our bodies.

While this year’s theme is fairly specific, one of the main purposes of Mental Health Awareness Week is to break down some of the stigma that’s often associated with mental health issues and, as a result, get more people talking about them.

And talk about them we must…

That’s because new figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show people’s personal happiness and wellbeing in the UK continues to remain flat, despite economic prosperity having improved.

According to the ONS’s latest Personal and economic well-being in the UK index, which was released at the start of February 2019, economic indicators such as income and spending continue to rise.

Nevertheless, most people believe the future is gloomy

However, the average happiness, life satisfaction and ‘worthwhile’ ratings for the UK levelled off in the last quarter of 2018. Furthermore, people have a rather glum view of the future, with many believing that the economy and their personal financial situation will worsen over the next 12 months.

These views are echoed by the fact that since Q1 2013, household debt per head has been increasing. It is now 133% of disposable income, supporting previous analysis suggesting that some households may be living beyond their means – something that will likely lead to more stress and anxiety going forward.

Speaking about the figures, Glenn Everett, Head of Inequalities at ONS, said: “Despite high levels of employment, rising incomes and spending across UK households, people are not reporting increases in their well-being. This may be due to worries about rising debt repayments, which could be driving concerns about their future financial situation.”

With wellbeing across the UK seemingly stalling, employers have a role to play when it comes to their employees. Specifically, benefits packages can offer peace of mind for staff, with products like Group Income Protection providing a safeguard should an employee be unable to work due to an illness, accident or disability.

Moreover, the various support services that can be provided as part of a benefits package can give employees access to financial advice whenever they need it. At a time when the perception of the future is decidedly gloomy, such support is highly valued by employees.

As we approach mental health week, we need to look at why employees are not feeling the benefits of a seemingly prosperous environment. Employers need to consider that a safety net is needed when things go wrong. By providing one, employers can increase productivity and reduce long term absence costs.

Need some more information about Group Risk products and benefits packages? Talk to Premier Choice today.

I joined Premier Choice Group as a Healthcare & Protection Consultant in 2017, where I now look after the needs of over 200 clients nationwide. Prior to joining the Premier Choice Group, I worked for a large Private Healthcare Insurer, VitalityHealth, and managed SME and Individual clients across the country.