Mental health is one of the biggest issues in the workplace today, causing over 70 million working days to be lost each year. This includes everything from the most commonly experienced symptoms of stress and anxiety, right through to conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
As well as having a huge impact on our employees, mental health could have a severe impact on our organisation, as it could lead to an increase in employee turnover, sickness absence due to debilitating depression, burnout and exhaustion, decreased motivation and lost productivity.
In 2015/2016 our Directors recognised the importance of being able to support our employees with mental health. Since then the majority of our line managers have attended a Mental Health First Aid Lite course and our Marketing Manager, Suzanne Clarkson-Lewis, has been on a Mental Health First Aid course and is now the company’s first certified Mental Health First Aider.
Following this course, our Director of Business Services, Ian Woodland, put together a strategy for mental health in the workplace. This strategy and our plan for supporting employees with mental health has been taken to the entire leadership team and an agreement has been made to roll out the strategy and plan to the business, Ian commented “As a responsible employer we have a strategy for managing mental health which considers prevention, intervention and recovery. I am delighted that we have four more employees that have volunteered to become Mental Health first aiders across the business, taking the two day course with MHFA England later on in 2017 and early 2018”.
On top of this, we have supported world Mental Health Day in the office on Monday 16th October 2017 and have launched a site on our intranet site where employees can go for support on mental health issues. The event encouraged employees to talk about mental health and to share experiences and tips or ideas on staying well. We have also organised a personal resilience workshop for January 2018, supported by Jane Cattermole from JCTC. This interactive event will be open to all employees and will offer practical ideas for managing pressure on a day to day basis in a stressful work and life environment.
To underline the support of our employees, Assurity Consulting have also committed to the charity Time to Change and have recently signed their Employer Pledge joining a growing movement of more than 450 employers in England across all sectors from FTSE 100 companies and leading retailers to Government departments and local authorities. The pledge signals our commitment to changing how we think and act about mental health in the workplace and to make sure that employees who are facing these problems feel supported.