Following Hertfordshire’s Year of Mental Health, employers work together to reduce stigma in workplaces

Delegates from across Hertfordshire came together to share their experiences and upskill to improve mental health in the workplace on 8 September.

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At the event, the delegates, all of whom had received training from Business in the Community, heard from Hertfordshire Wellbeing Service and Mental Health First Aid trainer, Sue Hazleton on how to help support employees who may suffer from mental health problems.

Today’s event was interactive and interesting, lots of information provided at a good pace, and great to meet like-minded colleagues from other businesses

- Hightown Housing Association delegate

With some 44,000 employees suffering from anxiety, stress or depression, mental ill-health has a huge impact on absenteeism with some 23 days per reported case lost, adding up to around 9.9 million lost days in the UK.  

Hertfordshire’s Wellbeing Service gave presentations to help delegates better understand the services it offered, and to give insight into treatments such as cognitive behaviour therapy, while a BITC Mental Healt First Aid trainer led a group session looking at the impact the Mental Health First Aid training had had on local employers.

NGK Spark Plugs, Pitney Bowes, Watford Borough Council and UK Power Networks gave updates on their mental wellbeing interventions and the ongoing challenges they faced. They discussed the activities that businesses were currently undertaking and shared best practice amongst the delegates. This gave the attendees an opportunity to gain new ideas to take back to their own workplace.

Debbie Longhurst, Head of Business Engagement at BITC, updated delegates on the latest campaign and resources available to workplaces, as well as giving an update on the latest BITC resources such as the online mental health toolkit.

Sessions also allowed delegates to share the challenges they face with mental wellbeing issues in their own workplaces and to look at potential solutions with expertise from the event presenters.

"Really important event to know what resources are available and remind me that this is such an important issue." - Hertfordshire County Council delegate