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Taking action on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace

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World mental health day

October 10th, 2018 marks World Mental Health Day, providing another opportunity for all of us to tackle the stigma around mental health at work; opening the discussion around what more can be done to make mental health and wellbeing a higher priority for employers of full-time and part-time jobs in Basingstoke.

The theme of this year’s awareness-raising day, which is supported by the World Health Organisation, is young people and mental health in a changing world – but mental health issues affect millions of people of all ages and backgrounds. Problems can range from anxiety and depressive disorders to much more complex and severe mental health illnesses.

A major business concern

Mental health is a fundamental part of how we feel about our jobs, how effectively we perform and how well we interact with colleagues, customers and clients – making it an essential matter for every business. Managers need to be equipped not only with techniques for handling mental health issues when they occur, but on how to help prevent them where possible with a greater focus on staff wellbeing.

Shocking statistics

A 2017 study by Business in the Community in association with Public Health England revealed some startling statistics around mental health issues at work today:

– 1 in 6 employees are experiencing mental health problems
– Less than a quarter of line managers have received any training in mental health
– 15% of employees that disclosed a mental health condition faced disciplinary procedures, demotion or dismissal

Such is the scale of mental ill health, The Daily Mail also recently reported that NHS England is encouraging GPs to bring mental and physical health services under one roof after a survey found two in five patient appointments are now for mental health issues.

Time to change

As a recruitment agency in Basingstoke, mental health at work is an issue we’re keen to help local business tackle head on. Let’s break the culture of silence that surrounds it and invest in basic mental health literacy for all employers and their staff. However, it’s no good just having training and policies in place – action is what will create a positive shift in the direction of real change…

Practical guidance is available

Realising that part of the issue is lack of practical knowledge, Public Health England have created a Mental Health Toolkit for Employers to help us all get to grips with the complexities of mental health in the workplace. This detailed yet accessible guide asks us to make a genuine commitment to better mental health care at work from the start, reminding us that “Every business must understand that driving a culture where mental health is prioritised cannot be achieved where it is an add-on but only when it is a fundamental part of how the business is run.”

Advice for every type of business

The valuable toolkit will show you how to cultivate a working culture that promotes wellbeing to reduce the risk of mental health problems. It will also support you with managing mental health, providing the right support, and helping people recover. The case studies included range from huge organisations such as HM Revenue & Customs and the NHS to SMEs, so whatever type of business you run or work for, you’ll find real-life guidance that you can relate to and use to make positive changes in your workplace.

Part-time jobs in Basingstoke for work/life balance

In our recent blog post on how office perks can help reduce stress we gave you some tips on how to improve your office environment for greater wellbeing. Small things like quiet areas, exercise classes and healthy snacks can really help encourage healthier, happier staff. Another positive step you can take is to offer your employees greater flexibility, such as part-time roles or job shares.

Mental health issues often arise when people feel overwhelmed with the number of responsibilities they have inside and outside work. The result is often increased absence, at a cost to your business. Think about how you could allow working parents to flex their hours around the school run. Got staff who are mixing work and study? Talk to them about how you can support them around assignment deadlines and exam times with more flexible working. Their studies may help upskill your business, after all.

Mental health first aid

Got a first aider in your work place? Most workplaces are equipped to deal with physical injury and illness, but what about mental illness? Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training course which can teach you how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue at work. It will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

There is a strong relationship between levels of staff wellbeing and their motivation and performance. Taking a positive, proactive approach to mental health at work can help you grow your staff and your organisation. Use World Mental Health Day 2018 to review how you and your managers can tackle mental health more effectively.

Are you looking for part-time jobs in Basingstoke? Wote Street People is a recruitment agency in Basingstoke, here to help you. Talk to us today to find out more on 01256 799127.

 

 

 

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