Supporting Colleagues' Mental Health
Testing, inspection and compliance services provider SOCOTEC Group is encouraging organisations to support colleagues who may be experiencing mental health issues in the workplace.
The appeal follows publication of the Annual Statistics on Work-related Stress, Depression and Anxiety in 2018/19 report by UK government agency, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which recorded 602,000 employees suffering with workplace mental health issues in 2018/19 (a figure that accounted for 44 per cent of all work-related ill health). HSE also reported that a total of 12.8 million working days were lost over the same period as a result of stress, depression and anxiety, which contributed to 54% of the total number of days lost due to ill health.
To help combat stigma surrounding mental health at work, members of SOCOTEC UK’s HR department undertook Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training in July 2018, which taught them how to recognise the crucial warning signs and symptoms of mental health and provide appropriate support. While they are not a substitute for trained therapists or psychiatrists, Mental Health First Aiders act as the first point of contact for employees who are experiencing mental health issues or emotional distress, offering impartial advice, providing appropriate support and listening in a non-judgemental manner.
The group is also encouraging HR professionals to participate in Time to Talk Day on Thursday 6 February. Organised by Time to Change, a social movement dedicated to encouraging people to become more open about mental health, the aim of the day is to get more people talking about and listening to those with mental health issues, helping to change lives for the better.
Kim Chapman, HR business partner, SOCOTEC UK, says:
"With one in three of the UK workforce diagnosed with a mental health condition in their lifetime, it is vitally important for organisations to encourage their staff to listen, reassure and respond to a range of mental health-related crises."