According to research by Legal and General Group Production, one million people now claim sickness benefits for mental health or behavioural problems. In 2002, that number was just 824,000. That’s a rise of nearly 200,000 people claiming employment and support allowance for mental health problems in just one decade.
Managing director Diane Buckley said: “Increasing pressures in the workplace such as changes in regulation and trying to deliver more for less, are all taking their toll.”
These figures highlight how important it is for employers to provide enough high-quality support for their workforce.
Worryingly, 83,000 of those who claim are aged between 18 and 24, suggesting that even young people are finding modern pressures impossible to cope with.
The annual bill for health-related benefits is £13 billion.
Last year a Government-commissioned report claimed that more workers are claiming sick pay before quitting to live on benefits. At the time, PM David Cameron expressed his concern that people were claiming sickness benefits for manageable conditions such as stress and backache.
Early prevention and management techniques are often very effective at treating long term conditions. According to Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud, 300,000 people leave work and sign onto benefits for conditions that could have been treated had they been addressed earlier on.
If you are being put under too much pressure at work, you are advised to talk to a senior member of staff. Putting up with stress can seriously impact your personal life and affect the people around you.
Symptoms of stress include:
- being particularly snappy or feeling angry
- feeling emotional and teary
- depression or anxiety
- chest pains or palpitations.
It is important to get help for stress. To find out how counselling can help, please visit our Stress page.
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