Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive of Legal & General has challenged employers to do more about mental health in the workplace. This morning, in advance of his speech on mental health, the Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP visited Legal & General to talk about the work they are doing to address the issue.

Commenting on Ed Miliband’s visit and speech Nigel Wilson said:

“People shouldn’t suffer in silence about mental health, whether at work or at home. Earlier this year we launched a campaign to highlight awareness of mental health in the workplace. Our Stress in the City campaign is designed to encourage employers and employees, particularly in financial services, to talk about mental health in the workplace.

“We’ve been working to improve support for mental health in the workplace for over ten years. We work with a number of specialist companies to deliver good quality support for our staff and to help other employers get the right support for their staff. For example, by providing a free Employee Assistance Programme for all our Group Protection policyholders as well as training that will help line managers identify the signals early on.

“We look after almost 200,000 employees in all sorts of different sectors, and know that if we intervene early, we can get 74% of people back to work in a year. Specialist treatment like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help people not just to come back to work but to stay at work in the first place.”

In September Legal & General launched a new campaign, ‘Stress in the City’, aimed at raising awareness of stress and mental health illnesses in the financial services sector. The campaign has won praise from Charles Walker MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Mental Health, who, speaking at the Second Reading of the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill, congratulated L&G for addressing mental health and tackling stigma “particularly in the City, where there is a sort of macho culture in which people deny any weakness in case their colleagues think the worse of them.” He also called on the Government to “work with employers to promote the agenda of ‘No health without mental health’ and to celebrate those who take a lead.”

The Health & Safety Executive’s Labour Force Survey estimates that 10.8 million working days were lost in 2010/11 to mental health issues such as stress, depression and anxiety.