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National Stress Awareness Day brings Hertfordshire employers together to share best practice

The event, held on 6th November 2014, brought more than 35 delegates from Hertfordshire workplaces together to hear from mental health experts about the challenges surrounding stress and how this can be better managed within the workplace.

13.7 million days are lost due to work-related mental health such as stress, depression and anxiety, with an estimated cost of £28.3 billion a year to UK employers.

The event helped in identifying mental health as an important aspect to consider in a business. Management of this is important to protect business continuity.

- RES attendee

By following recommendations in NICE Guidance (2009) on average organisation of 1,000 employees can save an estimated £250,000 a year in sickness absenteeism, and increase performance.

NICE highlights how employers and employees can work in partnership to improve mental health and wellbeing, including prevention and early identification of problems.

At the event, presentations were given by Jo Dray, Mental Health First Aid Practitioner, who talked about the cost of mental ill-health in the workplace and the impact conditions such as stress can have on productivity in workplaces.

Jo outlined the free Mental Health training on offer to Hertfordshire workplaces, giving examples of how breaking down the stigma and recognising early signs and symptoms of mental ill health in employees can help reduce sickness levels in workplaces.

Dr Leanne Morrison, Health Psychologist from the University of Southampton gave delegates an insight into the ‘Healthy Mind’ tool to reduce stress in the workplace. Delegates were given a flavour of the IT platform and an understanding of its support by Public Health. This toolkit is available at no charge to employers – contact l.morrison@soton.ac.uk for more information.

Andy Reeve, of AMR Consulting led the final session, sharing his experience of an individual suffering from mental ill-health and how they managed this with support from their employer. Employers were given some top tips for dealing with mental ill-health in the workplace.

Breakout sessions allowed delegates to share the challenges they face with mental health issues in their own workplaces and to look at potential solutions with expertise from the events presenters. BITC’s Debbie Longhurst closed the session reminding employers about the new tools available from BITC:

Listen up - Lets talk mental health

Managing emotional wellbeing toolkit

and the free training available to Hertfordshire workplaces:

 - December 4th 2014 : Mental Health First Aid Lite training - 9.30 - 13.00

 - December 11th 2014 : Workplace Health Champions training - 9.30 - 16.00

 - February 2015 : Two day Mental Health First Aid training

Please contact Debbie for more information debbie.longhurst@bitc.org.uk

PDF iconintroductory_presentation.pdf

PDF iconjo_dray_challenges_of_poor_mental_health_in_the_workplace.pdf

PDF icondr_leanne_morrison_healthy_minds_pilot.pdf

PDF iconamr_consulting_workplace_case_study.pdf

PDF icontom_may_summary.pdf