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Emma Mamo's talk at HR for Mental Health- an evening with Mind

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  • Good management is the key to unlocking the potential of staff, reducing uncertainty and preventing extreme stress. Raising awareness of wellbeing and promoting open discussion can help overcome the stigma around mental health, so employees feel able to disclose any issues sooner. Encouraging a good work/life balance, facilitating employee engagement, allowing flexible hours or home working, promoting positive working relationships and social activities are all important, as they show that good staff mental health is being promoted and invested in by the organisation.
  • Work environment and culture can be triggers for stress and mental distress. Solutions include managing workloads effectively among staff, training managers to recognise mental ill health and support their staff, improving the physical environment, providing mentoring or on-the-job coaching and publicising available support pathways, such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs). Ensuring regular supervisions or one-to-one meetings are standard practice is crucial, to build trust and give employees an opportunity to raise issues at an early stage with managers. Conducting a stress risk assessment is important to give a comprehensive analysis of the state of the organisation and key areas to address to prevent stress and mental ill health among staff.
  • Promoting wellbeing and tackling the causes of mental ill health will help create an environment conducive to disclosure. Where mental health problems are suspected or disclosed, the first step is to establish honest, open communication with the employee, which should be maintained while people are absent. Everyone’s experience of mental distress is different, so managers should be supported to work with staff to develop a personal recovery action plan, which identifies triggers for distress and what support the employee needs. Policies on reasonable adjustments and phased returns to work are crucial for a successful approach to reducing the length of mental health related sickness absence. Where feasible, EAPs, occupational health or psychological therapies can contribute to a comprehensive staff support package. If mental ill health is suspected or disclosed, it is crucial that line managers facilitate an early conversation about the person’s needs, to identify and implement appropriate support or adjustments. Basic good people management and the use of empathy and common sense by managers lie at the heart of effective management of mental health in the workplace. Managers need to ensure they are seen as approachable and listen when staff ask for help. Managers should also be mindful of whether the workplace culture is conducive to disclosure. Useful tools and approaches - Team temperature checks, asking about mental health at one-to-ones
  • Employer resources - Guide to creating mentally healthy workplaces, disclosure toolkit Employee resources – managing stress, surviving working life Mind Workplace Local Minds - Over 250 local services across Britain reached over 430,000 people last year. Mind infoline and legal advice service - we responded to calls from 37,000 people last year , many of whom were in crisis Mind website – mental health information
  • Mind

    1. 1. Mental health in the workplace Emma Mamo Policy and Campaigns Managermind.org.uk
    2. 2. Mind is the leading mental health charity in Englandand WalesWe have been campaigning for better mental health for all, forover 60 yearsWe have a network of 160 independent local Minds providinglocal servicesOur vision: we won’t give up until everyone experiencing amental health problem gets both support and respect
    3. 3. Key PointsMental health and work-What is mental health?-The current pictureManaging mental health at work-Comprehensive strategy-Case studies
    4. 4. What is mental health? Flourishing NoSymptoms of symptoms of mental mental health health problems problems Languishing
    5. 5. What is good mental health?It is defined as a state of well-being in which everyindividual realizes his or her own potential, can cope withthe normal stresses of life, can work productively andfruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or hiscommunityWorld Health Organisation
    6. 6. 1 in 4 people will experience a mentalhealth problem at some point each year
    7. 7. Mental health and workThe workplace can have a significant impact on mental health –it can promote wellbeing or trigger distress• Long hours and no breaks• Poor working environment• Unrealistic expectations or deadlines• High-pressure environments• Job insecurity or change management• Negative relationships or poor communication• Workplace culture
    8. 8. The current picture• Conditions like anxiety, depression and unmanageable stress affect 1 in 6 British workers each year• Stress is the most common cause of long-term sickness absence across all workers• Yet eight in ten employers have no mental health policy to help staff sustain good mental health• Mental ill health costs UK employers over £26bn every year as a result of absence, reduced productivity and staff turnover - £1,035 per employee
    9. 9. Mind’s research• 28 per cent of people are working longer hours• One in ten had visited their GP for support due to recession-related pressure on their jobs• One in seven had started taking anti-depressants• One in five workers had called in sick due to unmanageable stress, but 93 per cent did not tell their boss the real reason• 54 per cent said stress and mental distress is a taboo subject in the workplace• One in five people fear mentioning stress to their manager would put them first in line for redundancy• One in four said they would be perceived as less capable than other colleagues if they admitted to stress• Of those who had disclosed a mental health problem, one in five had either been sacked or forced out of their jobs
    10. 10. Culture of silence• Employees feel unable to speak up about issues, for fear of discrimination• Employers fear broaching the subject, for fear of exacerbating distress or any legal consequences• If support is not put in place, problems can spiral into a health crisis – with increased costs for individuals and employers Employers need to take the first step in confronting the elephant in the room
    11. 11. Managing mental health at work
    12. 12. Best practice for employersA comprehensive mental health strategy will create anopen and supportive working environmentThree-pronged approach1. Promote wellbeing2. Tackle work-related mental health problems3. Support employees with mental health problems Senior leadership across the organisation is crucial
    13. 13. Promoting wellbeing• Promote work/life balance• Flexible working where possible• Employee engagement and consultation• Promote positive working relationships• Good communication• Exercise provision and social activities• Peer support/buddy systems• Raise awareness of wellbeing and promote open discussion
    14. 14. Tackling work-related causes• HSE Management Standards for Stress• Training for line managers• Regular one-to-ones• Managing workloads among staff• Stress risk assessments• Physical environment• Stress coaching and on-the-job support• Publicise internal and external support pathways• Communication with dispersed workers
    15. 15. Supporting employees• Facilitating disclosure• Responding to disclosure• Tailored support• Workplace adjustments
    16. 16. Facilitating disclosure• Focus on the person not the problem• Ask some simple questions – How are they feeling? – What would they like to happen? How?• Work on the basis that they want to remain in/return to work - the interaction will be more positive• Ensure health needs are taken into account in any performance management process
    17. 17. Responding to disclosure• Avoid making assumptions – ignore stereotypes about mental health and do not guess symptoms and impact• Manage communication – sensitive personal information• Respond flexibly – agree on tailored system of support• Seek advice if you need to – Mind, local Minds, health professionals, EAP, occupational health…
    18. 18. Tailored supportWellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) – health tool  Impact of mental health problem on performance  Workplace triggers  Early warning signs  Steps for the line manager to take  Steps for the individual to take
    19. 19. Workplace adjustments• Flexible hours or change to start/finish time• Change of workspace• Return-to-work policies (phased return)• Changes to role (temporary or permanent)• Changes to break times• Increased supervision or support• Provision of quiet rooms• Consider appropriateness of absence rules and limits (disability absence)Often about a change in attitude rather than a cost
    20. 20. Case study: three-pronged approachBT operates support at three levels• Level one: promoting wellbeing and preventing mental distress - advice on intranet and training on soft skills• Level two: identifying distress and intervening early to prevent escalation - online stress risk assessment for employees and training for managers• Level three: range of support and treatments for people experiencing mental health problems – employee and manager produces an ‘advance directive’, identifying early warning signs and a plan of action and supportOutcome: mental health sickness absence reduced by 30%
    21. 21. Case study: internal and external supportDeloitte embodies senior leadership• Seven partners trained as Mental Health Champions• Strong signal that employees can be open about their mental health and access support at an early stage• 40 people across the firm have sought help• Well Now programme now focuses on managing pressure, building resilience and offering early help to colleagues
    22. 22. Case study: simple changesChloe was experiencing depression. Fearing the worst, Chloedisclosed her condition but found her boss did everything tosupport her:• weekly catch ups to prioritise her workload• flexible working• afternoon naps to cope with the side effects of medication.This aided Chloe’s speedy recovery and ability to stay inwork. “It doesnt feel like Ive been punished for being depressed, it almost feels like Ive been rewarded for being honest.”
    23. 23. Taking Care of Business campaign• Long-term campaign to transform attitudes to mental wellbeing at work• Raising awareness, building relationships and providing tools to support employers and employees• Calling on employers to create open workplace environments, where people feel confident disclosing a mental health problem will lead to support, not discrimination
    24. 24. How Mind can help• Free resources for employers• Free resources for employees• Mind Workplace – training and consultancy• Local Minds – counselling services, job retention services• Mind Infoline and Legal Advice Service• Information on Mind website
    25. 25. To find out more:mind.org.uk/work for information and resources onmental health at workmind.org.uk for general informationContact: e.mamo@mind.org.uk