Calls to health and wellbeing provider indicate 'Blue Monday' is no myth

According to health and wellbeing provider, Health Assured, their employee counselling service received more calls from workers on ‘Blue Monday’ than any other day last year.

Blue Monday 2020

What is Blue Monday?

Blue Monday is a name given to a day in January (usually the third Monday of the month) claimed to be the most depressing day of the year.

The term was coined by psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2004 after he developed a formula which considered various aspects that can typically affect an employee’s mental health, including:

  • weather
  • debt
  • monthly salary
  • time passed since Christmas
  • non-fulfilled New Year resolutions
  • low motivational levels

Is Blue Monday real?

While many argue that 'Blue Monday' is just a marketing ploy and not based on actual scientific research, there is no doubting the mental health effects of the winter months. Therefore, it is not surprising to learn that Health Assured received 959 calls to their employee counselling service on Blue Monday 2019, the highest number of calls in one day in 2019, and 117 more calls than Blue Monday 2018, a 13.9% increase. The provider also saw a 25% year on year increase in the number of calls they received in January.

What can employers do to raise staff morale during January?

According to CEO and workplace wellbeing expert at Health Assured, David Price, there are plenty of things employers can do to improve workplace morale at the start of the year. These include:

  • recommending staff take regular breaks
  • encouraging employees to stick to their New Year’s resolutions
  • offering free fruit
  • offering discounted gym membership
  • starting running clubs

Price added: "If employers want to keep happiness all year round, offering company perks or benefits can create something to look forward to as soon as they enter the office. Also, offering employees an EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) allows them to talk openly about any issues, whether physical, mental or financial they have. Finally, it is important to note that mental health is a year-round issue that many struggle to deal with and employers should consider if they're doing enough to help those employees who might be struggling and perhaps don't know where to turn."

See also

Half of UK employees considering a new job in 2020

Five upcoming employment law changes your company needs to be aware of in 2020

Ethical veganism gains protection in the workplace

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 20 January 2020