It’s widely reported that mental ill health will affect one in four people at some point in their working lives. I am one of those one in four.
People with mental ill health frequently suffer discrimination in the workplace. Unemployment also affects people with long-term mental health disorders more than any other group of disabled people. Talking about mental health can be scary because there’s a stigma around it, but we can get rid of that by having the conversations that matter.
Part of keeping a healthy workforce is being able to have honest and supportive conversations with managers and colleagues around wellbeing. To help support and care for colleagues with their mental health at South Yorkshire Housing Association we’ve trained 13 Mental Health First Aiders.
We’re continuing to develop our offer on mental health and wellbeing, and last year we committed to the Time to Change pledge with a physical signing by Tony Stacey, our Chief Executive.
We also launched an online Sharepoint Communication Site as a central hub for all Mental Health and Wellbeing resources. It includes a Manager Toolkit, plus lots of support and advice for our people.
It doesn’t stop there as we’ve also improved our workplace Rewards Package to have a Wellness Hub. This has lots of useful information on managing finances, nutrition, different physical exercise videos and exercises to help manage stress and other mental poor health.
The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention and my challenge to you all is to start a conversation with a colleague and check how they’re doing.
Let’s work together to feel safe, supported and that it’s okay to talk about our mental health.
Angie Tinker, People Partner