It is estimated that poor mental health costs the Welsh economy £7.2 billion per year, so looking after your employees’ mental health isn’t just the right thing to do – it also means better performance, less time off sick and more loyal staff.
New package of information and advice for employers
Charity Mind Cymru believe that the way mental health issues are managed by employers can make a massive difference to outcome – which obviously benefits both employer and employee, but employers often don’t know how to tackle mental health issues – leaving employees isolated and employers facing absence management challenges.
Mind Cymru have now teamed up with Time to Change Wales to offer businesses in Wales a package of information and advice to help promote better employee mental health and tackle mental health stigma in the workplace. Welsh employers are now able to access:
- A free workplace wellbeing pack full of information and resources.
- The chance to sign the Time to Change Wales organisational pledge and make a commitment to change how we think and act about mental health in the workplace
- Support from a Time to Change Wales champion who can share their experience of dealing with a mental health problem and help start the conversation with your employees.
- Access to Mind’s extensive range of mental health training courses.
Resources in English and Welsh
Employers can download copies of the four Wales-focused resources listed below (in both English and Welsh) from www.mind.org.uk/workplace-wellbeing-wales
- Introduction to mentally healthy workplaces
- Taking stock of mental health in your workplace
- Promoting wellbeing and tackling the causes of work-related mental health problems
- Supporting staff who are experiencing a mental health problem
This project is funded by Welsh Government and Comic Relief, and employers can also request a pack containing the booklets, along with some other useful information, from the site, or by contacting Mind Cymru on 029 2039 5123 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Talking about mental health needn’t be as challenging as we might think”
Ian Young, long term sufferer of mental health issues, explains how getting the right support at work has made a tangible difference to his condition:
“I continue to receive strong support from managers and colleagues. As an example I’ve been offered a series of workplace adjustments. For example, I don’t have to attend particularly stressful meetings but I can make my contribution by working on the preparations for them. It has helped me contribute effectively to our team’s work, while allowing me to avoid situations which would make my anxiety worse.”
Often employers are fearful about bringing up a challenging topic, but Ian explains getting it right isn’t terribly difficult:
“Talking about mental health needn’t be as challenging as we might think. Managers sometimes worry about using the wrong language, but there is plenty of good advice available. . . . A good listener with a genuine interest in people can quickly become a successful manager of a colleague experiencing a mental health problem.”
“Often the right support is all that’s needed to keep the employee at work.”
Absence management expert Adrian Lewis, who works for absence management software provider Activ Absence welcomed the announcement:
“It’s great to see such a fantastic resource targeting welsh businesses, who have unique challenges. No matter where businesses are located, mental health issues are a major cause of sickness absence in the UK. Often the right support is all that’s needed to keep the employee at work – it’s not only the kind thing to do, it’s a good business decision, and these resources will make it easier for employers to improve support for their staff and reduce the stigma attached to mental health challenges.”
What about non-Welsh employers?
Employers can also access a wide range of helpful resources suitable for use in both England and Wales on Mind’s website at http://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/ including:
- downloadable resources such as employer and employee guides to Wellness Action Plans
- wellbeing booklets including ‘How to be mentally healthy at work’
- training courses
- an opportunity to sign up for an e-newsletter on mental health at work
- corporate partnership opportunities