The most recent Mental Health Awareness Week focused on the theme of ‘Surviving or Thriving?’ and reflected the fact that good mental health is about more than the absence of a mental health problem. It left us to question why so many people are living with mental health problems and why too few of us are thriving with good mental health.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental health issues such as stress, depression and anxiety account for almost 70 million days off sick each year, so it’s important to think about the mental health of your employees and how you can encourage open discussion about mental health.
60 per cent of employees say they’d feel more motivated and more likely to recommend their organisation as a good place to work if their employer acted to support mental health and wellbeing, so it makes sense to get the conversation started in your workplace and make sure everyone feels supported.
Business Growth Hub Leadership and Workforce Development Advisor, Janine Richardson, said: “Mention mental health and, more often than not, people envisage a problem or an issue. But really, just as we all have physical health, we have mental health too.
“And just as on some days we feel poorly or have a few aches and pains in our bodies, each day our mental health will also be in a slightly different state. In fact, quite often the physical and the mental will reflect each other.”
The Hub is focussed on supporting businesses to maximise their growth and we believe a key aspect of this is the productivity of employees. Not only do employees need to be skilled and competent but − and it can be said more importantly − they also need to feel valued and supported; good mental health is a cornerstone of this.
As part of our people programme we are running a taster workshop on mental Health First Aid. This can be a first step for businesses to reflect and consider their practices and approaches to supporting good mental health within their workplaces.
The workshop will be led by Katie Bancroft, from Hub partner organisation Talent HR. Katie is a qualified adult mental health instructor, approved by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England.
The taster workshop is aimed at managers, HR professionals, directors and business owners, and will help to train them in how to recognise the indicators of mental health issues, provide prevention guidance, offer signposting to professional help and, ultimately, become a workplace Mental Health First Aider.