Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Healthy Minds at Work saves Wales millions

I have been happy this week to give my backing to the Welsh Assembly’s plan to save the Welsh taxpayer the millions of pounds lost each year due to work stress-related illness and days off.

The Healthy Minds at Work campaign has revealed that when people are out of work due to stress, anxiety and depression it costs each Welsh taxpayer £100 a year. The cost of work absences includes the rise in the number of people claiming benefit and the cost to the employers of staff sick pay, recruitment and replacement.

To tackle the problem the Welsh Assembly and local partners are supporting the Healthy Minds at Work campaign which aims to support people in retaining their jobs and reduce stress related costs.

One in five people in Wales, including here in Bridgend are likely to suffer from stress or depression at some time in their working lives. It’s a personal tragedy when someone feels they have no option but to leave work or take time off – and it affects the family, community and local economy.

I am very pleased to back Healthy Minds at Work, it brings together local support organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Health Challenge Wales and Remploy to provide the positive and active support people need to cope with stress and keep their job. The strategies the campaign has developed are proving so successful that many other European countries are following suit.

Healthy Minds at Work is a practical example of what the Assembly and local organisations working together can achieve. It is a European leader in its approach to a serious social and economic problem, and in the way it is tackling these issues.


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