Mind in Somerset’s Campaign Launch to improve Mental Health in the Workplace – 26 Sep – Dillington House
Mind in Somerset (MiS) launched a campaign to improve mental health and wellbeing in the workplace at an event held at Dillington House, which was attended by 60 people from a range of organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors.
The event was supported and hosted by BBC Radio Somerset and sponsored by Porter Dodson, Jones Building Group, Gooch & Hosuego, Norseland and Somerset County Council. Speakers included David Fields, MiS Community Fundraising Manager, Richard Lowe, Director of Hewlett Rand, Adrian Poole of Porter Dodson, Darren Wilson of Thales and Louise Curry of Somerset County Council.
With one in four people expected to experience poor mental health this year, mental health and wellbeing in the workplace has become a key issue for all organisations who employ people. Mental ill health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK. In 2017, stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 40% of all work-related ill health at an estimated cost to employers of at least £35bn a year, equivalent to £1,300 for every UK employee. One in five people take a day off due to stress but a staggering 90% cite a different reason.
MiS said there was significant evidence to show that looking after the mental health of employees made business sense and encouraging people to talk about their mental health could make a real difference to absence rates and staff wellbeing.
MiS outlined the two key strands to its campaign: firstly, promoting the Time to Change (TTC) Employer Pledge and, secondly, offering a range of mental health training tailored to meet the needs of an organisation.
TTC is a campaign led by national Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and aims to change the way we think and act about mental health. The Employer Pledge provides a structure around which employers can build a mental health strategy and culture to ensure that employees who are facing these problems feel supported.
Some 95% of companies who have signed the pledge have said that it has had a positive impact on their organisation. Darren Wilson from Thales UK, which has signed the Pledge, outlined the significant changes in cultural attitude and approach towards mental health in the workplace that signing the pledge had made.
Businesses can register their interest in adopting the Employer Pledge at: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/get-your-workplace-involved/employer-pledge. This starts the process and they will be contacted by Time to Change who will outline next steps. The key step being to develop an action plan and to set a date to sign the Pledge.
The action plan lies at the heart of the Pledge as it creates tangible activities that help to break down mental health stigma within an organisation. MiS is a regional hub for TTC and is on hand to provide any additional support or advice you might need in developing your plan. Of the 1,200 organisations that have signed the Pledge nationally, only three have done so from Somerset!
The second strand of the campaign is training offered by MiS. Training is one of the key steps to consider in the TTC action plan.
MiS has a vision that every employer in Somerset has access to quality mental health and wellbeing training. The income from the training packages will be ploughed back in to the charity to fund and expand more services for the community.
More information on MiS training courses can be found here: https://www.mindinsomerset.org.uk/training/. MiS can be contacted for a free consultation by emailing: Training@mindinsomerset.org.uk
There will be a further workplace mental health seminar on 30 January 2020, kindly hosted by the West of England branch of the CIPD on behalf of MiS, at the Somerset County Cricket Ground. Details of the event are available online at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mental-health-and-well-being-in-the-workplace-with-mind-in-somerset-tickets-70763273857.