Wellbeing in spotlight as UK aims to improve mental health

The pledge of 21,000 extra nurses to tackle mental illness brings wellness at work into focus

Mental health
The UK’s Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has revealed plans to invest £1.3 billion to “address the historic imbalance” between physical and mental health by 2021. 

Some 21,000 new posts, including nurses, therapists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, will be created, helping to treat an extra one million patients. 

The announcement of the government’s mental health strategy follows the promise that Theresa May made in January 2017 to tackle the “burning injustice of mental illness”.

Mental health problems are a growing public health concern around the world. It is estimated that one in six people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem. Mental illness is one of the main causes of common diseases worldwide such as depression and anxiety, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study.

People must prioritise their wellness, Jeff Archer said when writing for London Business School Review. The managing director of The Tonic Corporate Wellness and London Business School wellbeing coach said: “According to a 2016 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) report, wellbeing is only taken into account in business decisions to ‘a moderate or great extent’ 43% of the time. 

“In addition, almost two-thirds of employers approach wellbeing reactively rather than proactively. If this doesn’t send a strong message that we’re in charge of our own wellbeing, nothing does.”

Archer shared a six-part guide to reaching peak performance in every aspect of your life. 

“Some keystone habits have the power to start a chain reaction. Start by sitting in a way that’s better for your mind and body. Then remember to hydrate, move more, prioritise healthy eating, improve your sleep and, finally, take time out for yourself.”

Small consistent tweaks in your life year after year will make an enormous difference, he said. “If you can formulate a strategy for achieving peak performance, you can apply the same strategy to any challenge you come across in life.”