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More investment needed in mental health support at work, warns Bristol charity

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 09 October 2018 16:13

More investment needed in mental health support at work, warns Bristol charity

Employers need to invest more in supporting staff's mental health, says Bristol charity Milestones Trust as World Mental Health Day approaches (Oct 10).

One in four employees feel their job negatively impacts on their mental health and nearly a third say their workload is too much, according to CIPD UK Working Lives Survey, published earlier this year.

Social care provider Milestones Trust supports people across Bristol and the South West with mental health needs learning disabilities and dementia.

Beth Hendry, assistant director of operations for mental health at Milestones Trust, said: "World Mental Health Day provides us all with the opportunity to start meaningful conversations about emotional health.

"We are starting to see positive changes in attitudes towards stress and mental health issues in the workplace.

Read more: West of England launches 'Careers Hub' to improve opportunities for young people


"However, we need to see employers invest more in providing support to employees and raising awareness about mental health, so there is no longer a stigma associated with it.

"Employers need to fulfil their responsibilities in helping employees to be well at work through supportive environments that encourage openness and honesty about mental health."

Beth suggests that employers put in place wellness action plans, a simple guide for managers to use to support the mental health of team members, which can be downloaded from the MIND website.

5 tips from Mind about conversations employers can have with staff

  1. What helps you to stay mentally well at work? For example, planning your booked holidays through the year, having a break, keeping a to-do list, having specific roles or having structure.
  2. What can your manager do to support you to stay well at work? Is it regular feedback, validation on strengths and improvements, supervision or clear goal setting for example?
  3. Are there situations at work that can trigger poor health or poor mental wellbeing for you? Conflict at work, organisational change or something not going to plan could all be potential answers.
  4. How might stress or poor mental health difficulties impact upon your work? For example, staff may find it hard to make decisions, be unable to prioritise work tasks, or be unable to communicate clearly with others.
  5. Are there any early warning signs that we might notice when you start feeling stressed or unwell? This could be changes in your usual behaviours, withdrawing form conversations or poor concentration for example.
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