2020 has been a challenging year for all of us and months of lockdown, loss and restrictions have had a huge impact on our mental health. According to research carried out by mental health charity, Mind, over half of adults have said their mental health has got worse during lockdown.
World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2020 is an opportunity to recognise such challenges and make a commitment to invest in improving mental health provision. The theme this year is "Mental Health for All" – greater investment, greater access. With a national emphasis on mental health, UK employers have never had a better opportunity to start a conversation with their employees about their wellbeing.
A healthy and inclusive workplace is essential for all businesses, so providing appropriate support for employees, tackling discrimination and stigma and creating a culture of openness will help to remove some of the barriers for growth, not only for the business, but for the individuals who work there. The ongoing pandemic is creating a lot of uncertainty in the workplace, and this is having an impact on business and employees in a number of ways. Bringing staff back following furlough or working from home is yet another transition we are expecting people to complete, and this brings with it new challenges for the workplace and, more specifically, individual mental health.
The Midlands Engine is currently funding the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (MHPP) which sees the roll out of mental health initiatives across small, medium and large businesses, with the aim of;
â— Contributing to the reduction of mental health distress
â— Breaking down the barriers to accessing care faced by people experiencing mental illness
â— Supporting their continuation in and return to work
â— Making a positive contribution to organisational productivity, in terms of wellbeing and economic outcomes
The University of Derby is offering businesses of all sizes and from all sectors in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Stoke and Staffordshire, Shrewsbury and Shropshire, and Herefordshire the opportunity to work with them to integrate effective mental health provision into their organisation. By encouraging businesses to sign up to the programme this provides them with a roadmap to achieving better mental health outcomes for employees and,as a result, reduce absence and increase productivity.
A number of key businesses have already signed up to the pilot, including; Wye Valley NHS Trust, Shropshire Council, Derby County Community Trust , T.T.K Confectionery, the Mortgage Advice Bureau and G.F Tomlinson Ltd.
Jess Barnett, Brand Director at T.T. K Confectionery stated, "TTK Confectionery Ltd are delighted to be taking part in the Mental Health Productivity Pilot. We signed up as part of our ongoing commitment to our team’s wellbeing. At TTK we want to promote good mental health and create a supportive environment, and we feel this initiative will help us to get the right tools in place to do that."
For more information please visit the University of Derby website https://www.derby.ac.uk/business-services/midlands-engine-mental-health-and-productivity-pilot/