Supporting mental health in the workplace

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The British Safety Council is calling on employers to commit themselves to protect their workers’ mental wellbeing and investing in line managers’ mental health training.

The British Safety Council has warned the government and the business community that there are not enough provisions to keep people who experience mental ill-health in employment.

Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, said: “The current government investment programmes and the education and training delivered by the leading mental health charities in Britain will help many people who experience mental ill-health to return and to stay in employment.

“However, there is no room for complacency. According to NHS England, only 43 per cent of people with mental health issues are in regular employment, compared with 74 per cent of the general population.

“A line manager has a crucial role to play in helping people to open up about their condition and advising them on where to seek further help. It’s an employer’s responsibility to train them for this task. Research by the charity Mind has found that staff with mental health conditions who felt supported by their line managers were 11 times more likely to disclose a mental health problem, in comparison to those who did not.”

To support employers in preparing their staff, The British Safety Council has designed training for line managers labelled Manage the Conversation. It aims to help them learn how to potentially save someone’s life if they spot any danger signs.

To help employees talk about their mental wellbeing, and build resilience to cope with pressures and adversity in the workplace, the British Safety Council has also launched a range of online wellbeing resources. They include a course titled Start the Conversation, which aims to get employees thinking and talking about mental health; Resilience, developed with elite sports professionals to help build physical and emotional resilience; and stress awareness training which is available for both employees and managers.

www.britsafe.org

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