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Mental Health

How Aware Are Your Managers?

Thursday, 11th May 2017

By, GBS Corporate Training

#MentalHealthAwareness  #EndTheStigma  #Mindfulness

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This week (8th – 14th May 2017) is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK.

The Mental Health Foundation has hosted Mental Health Awareness Week in the second week of May since 2000. In previous years the week has focused on how mindfulness, anxiety, sleep deprivation and relationships can impact our mental health.

For 2017 the theme is ‘surviving to thriving’. In their recent report, ‘Surviving or Thriving: The State of the Nation’s Mental Health’, The Mental Health Foundation reports that:

“Nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem. This rises to 7 in every 10 women, young adults aged 18-34 and people living alone”.

Recent news coverage has focused on The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and their spearheading of the Heads Together campaign with the ambition to end the stigma around mental health. Heads Together, the Charity of the Year for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon, aims to help people feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental well being and have the practical tools to support their friends and family.

According to the CIPD, mental health issues in the workplace can affect as many as one in four people at some point in their lives as well as representing a significant cost for employers. Mental health issues have a significant impact on employee well-being and are a major cause of long-term absence from work.

The huge impact on employers of Mental Health issues in the work place

The ACAS website states that mental health problems cost employers in the UK £30 billion a year through loss of production, recruitment and absence.

The CIPD’s 2016 report, Employee Outlook: Focus on mental health in the workplace, found that more than three people in ten (31%) have experienced mental health problems whist in employment. This figure is higher for female employees at 36% and 46% in respect of people working in the voluntary sector. The report also concludes that there is some way to go before the majority of employers develop a robust framework in this area.

Recent research from the mental health charity, Mind, reports that a culture of fear and silence around mental health continues to be costly to employers. The results of their survey showed that:

  • 14 per cent of respondents agreed that they had resigned and 42 per cent had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them
  • 30 per cent of staff disagreed with the statement ‘I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed’
  • 56 per cent of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff well being but don't feel they have the right training or guidance

Organisations therefore can often lose the skills and experience of many capable employees who are managed incorrectly and feel they have no choice but to choose between a deterioration of mental health or leaving their employment.

The Centre for Mental Health charity estimate that employers should be able to cut the cost of mental health (in lost production and replacing staff) by about a third by improving their management of mental health at work.

Media group owner Arianna Huffington, describes the business rationale in her book, Thrive:

“Stress reduction and mindfulness don’t just make us happier and healthier, they’re a proven competitive advantage for any business that wants one.”

By investing in Mental Health Awareness training for their Managers and Supervisors, employers can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Reduced staff turnover and sickness absence
  • A healthier workplace
  • Better staff morale
  • Better customer service
  • More committed staff
  • Skills retention

Employers have a duty of care to their employees and investment in the mental health of a workforce must be embedded in the core of the business.

GBS Mental Health First Aid courses will give you the tools to effectively support your staff

GBS offers Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training courses, designed to enable employees to recognise the early signs of mental health problems and give them the confidence and knowledge to help. Participants will get a comprehensive understanding of issues, practical guidance, and where to go for support.
To find out more about our Mental First Aid Courses, please visit the GBS website or give us a call on 01252 618 400 to speak to one of our training experts.
"And we all know that you cannot resolve a mental health issue by staying silent” Duke & Duchess of Cornwall & Prince Harry
#MentalHealthAwareness #EndTheStigma #Mindfulness