PRESS RELEASE – Workplace Mental Health

Workplace Mental HealthDorset Charity tackles rising cost of mental ill-health to the economy…

The independent workplace mental health review

A report published today by Mind states that 300,000 people with a long term mental health problem lose their jobs each yearAnalysis by Deloitte

The Mental Health at Work Report 2017 was published on 4th October 2017 and reports that there remains a pervasive culture of silence over mental health at work. Report by Business in the Community

Local Charity Dorset Mind will launch “Dorset Mind Works” to help employers and employees support mental health in the workplace

Mind’s independent review into workplace mental health, commissioned by the Prime Minister in January has today published its report, Thriving at Work. The review, led by former HBOS Chair Dennis Stevenson and Mind CEO Paul Farmer, looks at how employers can better support all employees.  This should help ensure people with poor mental health or wellbeing remain in and thrive at work.

Statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions reveal that 300,000 people with a long-term mental health problem lose their jobs each year. Analysis by Deloitte, commissioned by the reviewers, also reveals a demonstrable cost to employers. It quantifies for the first time how investing in supporting mental health at work is good for business and productivity.

The cost of poor workplace mental health

Poor mental health costs the UK economy between £74 billion and £99 billion a year.  Deloitte’s analysis shows that the cost to employers is between £33 billion and £42 billion of this number.  Evaluations of workplace interventions show a return to business of between £1.50 and £9 for every £1 invested.

Drawing on the accounts of over 200 employers of people with mental health problems and leading experts in mental health and work, Thriving at Work sets out core principles and standards that all employers should commit to.  It highlights examples of some employers who are taking positive and innovative steps to support the mental health of their employees.

The reviewers are calling on all employers, regardless of size or industry, to adopt six ‘mental health core standards’ that lay the basic foundations for an approach to workplace mental health.  These cover mental health at work plans, mental health awareness for employees, line management responsibilities and routine monitoring of staff mental health and wellbeing.  Large employers and the public sector are expected to go even further, demonstrating best practice through external reporting and designated leadership responsibility.

The full report can be viewed on the Gov.uk website.

Dorset Mind’s plans…

Dorset Mind’s Board of Trustees have recognised this growing problem.  They have made plans as follows to work with employers in Dorset to tackle the problem.

‘Dorset Mind Works’ is a comprehensive programme.  It’s based on six principles of Thriving at Work to help employers to create a mentally healthy workplace.

It guides companies through a process to create an environment where staff are as mentally healthy as they possibly can be.  It should make talking about mental health no longer regarded a taboo.

‘Dorset Mind Works’ will:

  • Help organisations complete Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index to help employers find out where they are doing well.  It will also highlight where they could improve their approach to mental health in the workplace.
  • Assist an organisation to normalise conversations about mental health at work. A poster and social media campaign will support this. It will train managers how to talk to their teams about their mental health.  It will also encourage mental wellbeing to be an everyday topic of conversation
  • Provide the organisation with education programmes for staff so that everyone understands how to stay mentally healthy, how to spot signs and symptoms when mental health deteriorates and importantly, where to turn to for help.
  • Support the employer to develop the right infrastructure to create a mentally healthy workplace; policies and procedures, wellbeing support programmes.

Dorset Mind will work with each organisation to develop a mutually beneficial partnership.  The fee charged for this will go towards providing support services for people recovering from mental ill health.

This includes education and support programmes for young people as well as staff and resources required to support the company.

How to register your organisation’s interest

Dorset Mind is seeking 3 Dorset-based companies to be ‘first pilot partners’ to benefit from ‘Dorset Mind Works’. Companies interested can contact Dorset Mind at contact@dorsetmind.uk to request further information.

Dr Andy Mayers, Dorset Mind’s Patron and Principal Academic at Bournemouth University comments, “The statistics in these two reports are frightening, but at Dorset Mind we’ve seen this coming which is why we’ve planned to offer a solution. This is a great opportunity for employers in Dorset to take advantage of a ready-made solution.  I urge interested organisations to get in touch and find out more.”

Marianne Storey Dorset Mind’s Chief Executive said, “This is simply a ‘win-win’ situation. Companies in Dorset can get the help they need to keep their staff mentally healthy.  At the same time they can do their bit for local communities.  We do have to charge employers to work with us to set up ‘Dorset Mind Works.’ 

“But by supporting us financially it means we can help people in the community struggling with mental health difficulties.”

Ken Heap Dorset Mind’s Chair of Trustees stated, “Once the Trustees knew that mental health problems were becoming a real issue in the workplace we knew we had to do something about it. We have some big employers in Dorset, so we have a responsibility to work with them.  We can help educate them about good mental health and what to do when their staff are not mentally healthy. This is a very exciting opportunity for us to work in partnership with Dorset’s companies.”

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